“Everyone Counts”: Wichita Falls census task force prepares for 2020

Published: Dec. 17, 2019 at 10:47 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The census task force in Wichita Falls is planning to launch a campaign at the start of the new year.

Planning Administrator Karen Montgomery, along with other staff members and volunteers, is on the City of Wichita Falls task force. She explains that census data affects all aspects of community life.

“The census bureau encourages local communities to get involved and help increase the awareness…[It] affects activities from the moment you wake up in the morning and you have running water, you have utilities, you back out your driveway onto streets.”

There are 55 services funded by the state of Texas that are tied to census data.

Those at the Chamber of Commerce also know how crucial census data is for a city's economic growth Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said, “There could be some additional businesses coming to Wichita Falls if we're able to show some growth.”

He explained that for the last 50 years, the city has not shown hardly any growth, but they think that there may have been some recently. “The only way to ensure that is to get as thorough a count as possible,” Florsheim said.

2020 will be the first time people can fill out a census in three different ways: online, by phone or by filling out a paper form and mailing it.

Making people aware of these options is the challenge. When there are populations that may not be sure which address to even use – like those Air Force and in college – it is even more challenging.

Montgomery wants to make sure people in those demographics are counted, “It’s where you live and you sleep a majority of your time. If you’re in Wichita Falls, we want you counted here.”

The Wichita Falls census task force will be kicking off their awareness campaign on the steps of Memorial Auditorium on January 7 at noon.

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