Fair Maps Texas Weekly Action (1-02-19) *Protect the Census
This week's call to action: Tell your state rep and senator to protect the census by supporting HB 255, which would create a Complete Count Commission for the state.
With the US Commerce Department's decision to put an untested citizenship question on the 2020 census, they have laid the groundwork for an inaccurate and costly census. Texas has one of the largest immigrant populations in the U.S., accounting for 17% of our total population, and we stand to be one of the biggest losers of this decision. Some estimates place the undercount in Texas due to the citizenship question as high as 700K, which could end up costing us 1 congressional seat and billions of dollars in allocated tax money (A.K.A. our hard-earned tax dollars).
Even if the Supreme Court denies approval of the citizenship question, it will still take an extraordinary effort to regain the trust of our communities. Texas can start rebuilding that trust by passing legislation to create a Complete Count Commission. This commission would be tasked with developing outreach strategies to ensure full participation in the census that would include:
-initiatives through state agencies to encourage participation,
-school-based outreach programs,
-partnerships with nonprofit community-based organizations,
-and a multilingual, multimedia campaign.
It would also create a grant program to help fund outreach efforts by local governments.
"Hi, My name is _____, and I'm calling to ask Rep/Sen _____ to support HB 255, a bill that would develop a strategy to encourage full participation in the census from residents of the state, including the creation of a Complete Count Commission. The citizenship question is already having a negative impact on our communities, eroding the trust in our government. Estimates place the undercount from the citizenship question as high as 700k, the equivalent of losing 1 congressional seat. It is crucial that the state develop outreach strategies so that we can accurately size our population and effectively govern our state. We ask that Rep/Sen_____ support HB 255 and the creation of a Complete Count Commission for Texas."
If they say they already support this legislation, ask them to cosponsor it.
Please record any responses from office staff below.