With a unanimous vote, Wichita Falls City Councilors said they and citizens will support the mission of the 2020 United States Census.
In January 2019, the council will appoint and create members of the Wichita Falls Complete Count Committee: local representatives getting the word out making sure everyone who lives in the city completes a census form.
“I’m taking it very seriously,” Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said.
Like Santellana, other city and community leaders will also take the census seriously, as a congressional mandate requires all living in the United States to fill out the census: by phone, paper or for the very first time, online.
“That population sign should probably be larger. Not that we don’t do a good job. Sometimes, you just don’t have enough time to grab everybody,” Santellana said.
In Texas, by not ‘grabbing everybody,’ missing a household of four, the state of loses more than $6,000 in funds for programs such as Medicaid, the National School Lunch Program, as well as potentially growing as a city.
“We’ve got to have an accurate number,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Henry Florsheim said.
By having an accurate number as possible, Florsheim said Wichita Falls can continue to flourish and expand from in and outside the city.
“When you look at businesses driven by population count; like retail, restaurants and other services that decide they want to go to cities of a certain size when you hit that mark, it opens you up to possibly landing some new businesses that wouldn’t have looked at you before,” Florsheim said.
With the implementation and completion of a successful census, there could be more “Blue Skies and Golden Opportunities” ahead for Wichita Falls.
You won’t have to wait until April 1 to submit your census form. Residents will be invited to respond in mid-March of 2020.