TX Sec. of State: Return your census form

HOUSTON "Power in numbers" -- that's the message from Andrade. She stopped by a center in east Houston this morning to emphasize the importance of participating in the 2010 US Census. There's $400 billion in federal funding at stake. Cities and counties that don't report an accurate census count could miss out on huge chunks of that money. Those funds would be used to pay for future transportation projects and roads as well as hospitals and critical programs for kids and seniors.

Officials want to remind everyone that census data plays a critical role in securing our region's future.

"If Texans go uncounted, Texas will be shortchanged," Andrade said. "In fact, according to the Texas state demographer, each person that is not counted in Texas could result in a loss of $13,500 per person in federal funds over the next 10 years to Texas state and local governments."

During the 2000 census count, only 66 percent of Harris County residents participated. That number is below the national average which is 72 percent.

Houston Counts is encouraging people to volunteer their time by joining them to distribute door hangers encouraging people to fill out the census questionnaire and return it. The hangers are printed in English and Spanish.

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