April 1, 2010
Hundreds showed up at a Downtown Austin restaurant Wednesday night to rally in support of the 2010 Census. Those who attended discussed how to encourage Latinos who haven’t yet filled out their forms to do so.
“We really need a good count of how many of us there are,” rally participant Yvette Armani said. “We’re the fastest growing demographic. So it’s really great to know just how fast we’re growing.”
Their input will also affect the services they and others will receive in Travis County.
“The response rate is going to affect the federal funding for us here in Travis County — Medicaid reimbursements, veterans funds, and even road funds,” Travis County Democratic Party president Andy Brown said.
Many at the rally went door-to-door to get the word out, and others used social networking. Their message was unified as “today WE count.”
“If we’re undercounted, we may be less represented even in the House of Representatives,” Sen. Kirk Watson said. “So it’s absolutely critical that people take the time to fill out this form. Later, when they’re contacted by the Census, [they need] to be responsive.”
Overall, Travis County currently has a 42 percent participation rate in the Census. The national rate is 52 percent.