HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — With less than three weeks left, Valley cities are holding last-minute efforts to ensure people get counted.
“There is billions and billions of federal dollars up for grabs right now,” said Harlingen Public Relations Officer, Irma Garza.
The 2020 census is the first census to give citizens the option to respond by mail, phone or online, but even with those options, the city of Harlingen sits just under a 55% response rate as of Saturday.
The self-response rate in Harlingen for the 2010 Census was at 62%.
Garza said plans to increase their response rate were in progress in April, but they had to make changes.
“The pandemic has made everything different, we had so many things planned,” said Garza.
Saturday the city organized a barbecue where residents could do their census from their cars and drive-thru for plates of food.
“It takes less than 5 minutes, then you drive by get some barbecue and there’s your Saturday,” said Garza.
Noble charities have donated chicken and helped at eight different census barbecue events around the Valley.
“The more people that respond, the more money that comes our way, the more that we can do to improve our community. Those dollars is the amount that we will get for the next ten years,” said Garza.
Drainage, streets, parks, and schools are a few of the areas that could improve with funding received from the census.
The last day to fill out your census form is September 30, you can fill it out online here.