The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roosevelt makes plans to raise Census awareness


August 25, 2019

PORTALES — Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a countrywide Census to gather statistical information from the population that affects everything from federal funding to congressional representation.

Participation and complete counts during the Census are key, because inaccuracies won’t be corrected for 10 years.

Roosevelt County held its Census 2020 discussion meeting on Thursday to raise awareness of the Census and its importance to the county, as well as begin planning efforts to reach out to both the average and hard-to-count populations.

Representatives from Roosevelt County, St. Helen’s Fiesta Committee, city of Portales, Roosevelt County Community Development Corp., Roosevelt County Chamber, Department of Health and Eastern New Mexico University attended the meeting.

The meeting was discussion focused, but plans were made to begin raising awareness at several upcoming events.

The committee plans to have booths at the St. Helen’s Fiesta Sept. 7-8 and at the Peanut Festival Oct. 19-20. There are also tentative plans to get a booth at the Roosevelt County Fair this week.

Erinn Burch, executive director of Live United, said nearly every part of New Mexico contains hard-to-count populations. Burch said her organization received a grant to help reach out to those populations and that efforts needed to be started soon to maintain it.

These hard-to-count populations generally include migrant workers and undocumented immigrants.

Roosevelt County can also expect state funds to assist with all Census efforts later this year.

Johnny Montiel, co-chair of the Roosevelt County Census, said each uncounted person is worth approximately $3,745 in funding per year.

Burch stressed that the information gathered by the Census is not used for anything other than statistics. Addresses or other personal information are not shared with any other government entities, such as the Internal Revenue Service.

Reminders to fill out the Census are delivered to homes starting in mid-March and keep coming until April. Census agents will begin visiting households that did not respond in mid-April to make repeated attempts to collect the information. The Census can be completed in-person, over the phone, by mail and online.

The committee plans to meet again soon to discuss community involvement strategies and present an outreach tool kit. Burch encouraged anyone who wants to get involved to come and bring friends to help spread the word.

At the state level, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham launched a digital platform designed to help with this year’s Census efforts. The state Department of Finance and Administration plans to support efforts in each of New Mexico’s 33 counties this fall by providing grants and training complete count committees. More information can be found at:


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