PHARR, Texas – With the upcoming 2020 census millions of federal dollars are at stake for the Rio Grande Valley.
The Hidalgo County Democratic Party led by Chairwoman Norma Ramirez is engaging voters in a unique way by using Loteria Bingo. People packed into a Pharr Library Hall, but it’s not just fun and games they learned about. They also learned about legislative amendments on the November ballot as well as the upcoming 2020 Census.
Norma Ramirez, Hidalgo Party Democratic Party Chair, “We realized that none of them understood what it was really about. Especially our Spanish speaking community. They had no idea that resources were at stake.”
If people are not counted, Ramirez says resources lost to the county would be devastating. She wants community members to not be afraid to be counted. Adding many in the community were confused by the census, thinking it was to be used to find out who is illegally in the country.
“We’ve gotten our own slogan it says Get Counted/Ser Contado. We want the people to mingle with us so that they feel comfortable.” says Ramirez.
Ramirez wants people to know there is a voice for them and can find strength within each other in the community. As county chair for a little more than a year now, to say Ramirez has turned the office around would be an understatement because they didn’t have one.
“We were in the negative. We didn’t have an office. There were no resources or even a place to sit down to have a meeting and today we are in a very healthy position.”
Ramirez is running for re-election as county chair and says she is the best qualified. Adding her business background has been an asset. She admits there is still a lot of work to be done and she wants to see it through. Ramirez says she has been very active launching many community programs like this one. “So far I’ve had several that are extremely excited. That someone has even done something like this in this community because it’s never been done before. They have been very grateful and very thankful.”
Ramirez also adding she hopes all elected officials, regardless of their political affiliations, will join them in their outcry making sure everyone is counted.