RIO GRANDE VALLEY/McALLEN - The City of McAllen recently received another grant to assist with its Census outreach efforts, this time, from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation in the amount of $56,400. The grant will be used for promotional activities and items, including flyers, posters, postcards, street banners, and yard signs. However, the bulk of the grant will be used to hire five part-time outreach workers to help residents respond online to the 2020 Census at various City of McAllen locations. The remaining funds will be used to promote those events with local media promotion.

“The City of McAllen's goal is to inform the community on the importance and significance of the U.S. Census, as well as increase the response rate in the 2020 Census by breaking the many barriers to participation that exist in the community,” said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, who serves as the chairman of the McAllen Complete Count Committee.

“Our plan is to instill confidence about the census and ensure that every resident recognizes how the U.S. Census works, when and how to fill out the questionnaire, and how census data benefits the community. This will be accomplished with the help of the Census Outreach Specialists who will assist residents with information and the online response,” Rodriguez added.

McAllen has been designated as a Hard-to-Count (HTC) Community, with specific neighborhoods designed as particularly low-response tracts, by the Department of Commerce, the federal agency that is responsible for conducting the Census. The Census Outreach Specialists will be assisting people in the evening hours and weekends and will be sent to churches, neighborhood associations meetings, and designated Hard-to-Count Areas neighborhoods to not only answer people’s questions regarding the Census, but also, how to respond online. McAllen’s Census Outreach Specialists will assist with online response via the use of City-issued tablets, that will be used beginning March 12.

A local marketing initiative promoting those opportunities to respond at City of McAllen facilities, with the assistance of the Census Outreach Specialists, will begin once those dates have been confirmed. Specialists will assist with logging on and other general support. As with the Census, all responses remain confidential.

To find out more about the McAllen Census Outreach Specialist positions, please visit www.mcallen.net and click on the Human Resources tab to apply.

Judy Quisenberry, executive director for the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, wrote in the award letter, “Thank you for the work you are doing for our community.”

The City of McAllen Census 2020 Complete Count Committee (CCC) will continue to work with its counterparts in neighboring cities, throughout Hidalgo County and even throughout the Rio Grande Valley to help maximize those efforts to ensure that every effort is made to reach everyone in every part of the area.

To learn more about the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, visit www.2020census.gov or follow them on social media.