West U. Joins County In Census Education Campaign
West University Place joined a county committee today to plan a public education campaign to make sure all Harris County residents participate in the 2010 U.S. Census. Census forms should arrive in West U. around March 16, and must be mailed back by April 1.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett — also a West U. resident — launched the Harris County Complete Count Committee, which will include representatives from West U. and many other cities in the region. Each community will do its part to educate the public about how important the census is for the area.
“It’s important for West U. residents for the same reason as everyone else,” Emmett said. “All funding is based on the number of people who live somewhere. Whether you’re talking about federal funds, state funds or even in some cases local funds.”
West U. City Secretary Thelma Lenz will serve as the city’s representative on the census committee. She said she plans to post notices on the city Website and send reminders in residents’ water bills.
“Not only is it helping the county, it will help the city later,” Lenz said. “I just think it’s very important that every West U. person gets counted.”
The state and federal government uses the U.S. Census to allocate funding for education, transportation and infrastructure, social services, healthcare and more. Population changes determine how many U.S. Congress Members an area receives — the 2010 count could add one member for the Harris County area. Texas leaders will use the census to redraw congressional and state legislative districts.
Harris County will analyze the 2010 census data to allocate funding for social services in the county, determine future transportation needs, and determine where to build new community centers, schools and other public buildings. School district boundaries could also be redrawn based on population changes.
“I’m going to be really a one-note song between now and April the first. You’re going to hear this over and over and over,” Emmett said. “We have to participate in the census. We have to make sure everybody gets counted.”
In the 2000 Census, West U. had 14,211 people — 92 percent were white, 4.7 percent were Asian, 4.7 percent were Latino, and the rest were of other races. Ninety percent of residents owned their own homes, and the median family income was $157,300. The city’s populace was highly educated, with 79 percent of people who earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and 98 percent who earned high school diplomas.