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Last-minute effort to count South Texas colonias in the 2020 Census
By LUPE, September 29, 2020

LUPE Census team members help residents fill out the Census form digitally and over the phone.

LUPE is suing the Trump Administration for its attempt to cut short the Census count.

Our lawsuit is pending in a Maryland federal court but we can’t sit and wait. Right now, LUPE is engaged in a last-minute push to count colonia residents in the Rio Grande Valley before the Trump Administration’s shortened Census deadline of September 30.

LUPE’s Census team is helping residents fill out the Census form digitally and over the phone in seven events throughout this past week, this weekend, today and tomorrow.

This past Saturday, we gave out barbeque chicken plates and helped people fill out the Census in Laguna Heights. Two census takers were on hand to help families fill out the form online. Through the event, we helped 8 families get counted.

Woman wearing mask in sunny public plaza holds sign that reads in Spanish, "For more resources, I counted myself" and includes the website to the 2020 Census in colorful letters.
LUPE's Census team helped 26 families fill out their Census at Pulga Los Portales in Alton.

LUPE members in Laguna Heights have taken great care to promote the Census with their neighbors. It is one of the poorest and most vulnerable immigrant communities in the Rio Grande Valley.

A federal judge in California has ruled that the Census Bureau not shorten the schedule and continue to count people until October 31st. In response, the Census Bureau adjusted their own deadline to Oct 5th — 26 days short of the federal court deadline.

The administration's reckless move shows that we are in for a rocky road in the coming weeks. But LUPE’s lawsuit with MALDEF in Maryland will no doubt make a difference in the final outcome of the larger legal battle.

And our efforts right now to count our community are more important than everLUPE is doing all we can to count our communities by October 5th. Donate to our effort.

Chicken cooking on large barbeque grill.
LUPE members gave out barbeque plates while helping families fill out the Census in Laguna Heights.

Last week, LUPE team members were on hand at two locations in Alton, a neighborhood market and a flea market. Together, the two events registered 46 families, totaling 185 people!

LUPE’s Census outreach is part of a broader effort to win the power Rio Grande Valley residents need to thrive. Our community has faced a barrage of Covid-19 cases in recent months. The crisis is fueled by local, state, and federal lawmakers who divest from schools, services, and care.

During the past four decades, legislators have taken away the resources we pitch in together from cities and counties providing services. They instead hand millions to corporations to militarize the police and border region.

Almost two-thirds of Hidalgo County’s general fund is dedicated to police, jails and courts. Only 4% of the general fund is dedicated to health services and care. Our region is struggling without a public hospital or expansion of Medicaid. It is infuriating that during the worst public health crisis of our generation, the Sheriff’s Department is our biggest public health agency.

It is no wonder Covid-19 is robbing us of our parents and grandparents in such high numbers. It is the same reason that ICE and Border Patrol rob us of our family members and neighbors through incarceration and deportation. Lawmakers care more about wielding power than sharing it.

RGV residents are organizing against this negligent approach to governance ravaging our communities. We need the power to devote the resources we pitch in together toward the services and care we really need. Through Census outreach, Get Out The Vote, and year-round organizing, we can win the power to decide how we live and thrive.

Donate to LUPE’s efforts to win a border region where families remain together and all can thrive.

La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) is a community organization based in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. More posts


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