All 33 New México counties and 23 Native American communities have established committees to educate people about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and to address misconceptions about what census data will be collected and how it will be used.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the Complete Count committees are further evidence of New México’s commitment to a complete and accurate population count this year. “Providing partners with the resources they need to educate neighbors, family and friends about the importance, ease, and safety of census participation is critical to that goal,” she said.
“The fact that the entire state is behind this is a strong indication of how important this is for all New Mexicans,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. The governor launched the complete-count effort in April by establishing the Statewide Complete Count Commission, a diverse 40-member group including leaders from community-based organizations, Native American communities and business representatives.
The commission has since created the I Count New Mexico campaign, which encourages all New Mexicans to participate in the decennial census and provides resources for organizations conducting census-related outreach.
“We recognize that providing funding only addresses part of the barrier to a complete count,” said Olivia Padilla-Jackson, Department of Finance and Administration secretary and chair of the Statewide Complete Count Commission. “Through an array of local partners, we are also providing support such as training and outreach materials to communities across the state.”
About 43 percent of New México’s population — or 900,000 people — live in “hard-to-count” areas, a challenge the committees will strive to overcome. An undercount of just 1 percent would deprive New México communities of hundreds of millions of dollars for education, health care, roads and housing over the next decade. The next meeting of the Statewide Complete Count Committee will begin at 11:30 a.m., Jan. 13, at the Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack in Hobbs. For more information about the commission and its efforts, visit the I Count New México website: www.icountnm.gov or call 505-795-2235 or email Paige Best, NM Census Coordinator at PaigeL.Best@state.nm.us.
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