LONGVIEW, TEXAS (KLTV) - A Longview Census Task Force kicked off a 2020 census initiative Thursday.
The group met at the Longview Public Library to discuss organization and the new ways to get citizens to participate in the 2020 census.
The 35 member task force met to go over their game plan for the count coming up next year.
“We are kicking off our census initiative for the 2020 U.S. census. Today they are beginning their indoctrination,” said Laura Hill, Longview director of community services.
Though it's sometimes viewed as an annoyance, workers say citizens have an unfounded aversion to it.
“I hear people around Gregg County say they are fearful of filling out the census. I don’t want them to be fearful. I want them to be educated,” said one task force member.
“When you fill out a census, this information is secure for 72 years. In addition to it being part of the constitution and required by law, it’s about apportionment. To make sure we have the correct representation in congress. Federal funds coming back into our community,” Hill says.
Part of what this task force is charged with doing is telling the public how important it is to fill out the census. It means everything from funding to repairing roadways.
“It’s extremely important to you at some point. For every person not counted in the state of Texas, our state loses $1500,” Hill says.
And this time around, there's a new way to fill out the census.
"This year is the first year for digital, you'll be able to if you wish, fill it out online," says Hill.
And failing to participate in the census has a price tag.
"Our state loses money for schools, money for highways, money for housing," Hill says.
The census effort will begin on April first 2020.