Unidos Contamos: LUPE’s 2020 Census Outreach
Our Efforts to Animate a Complete Count in Rio Grande Valley Colonias
We count. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, our communities are hard working. As Latinos, we sacrifice so our families can get ahead. An accurate Census count means more resources and political voice for our region, which will help our families and our community thrive.
But distrust of the government under the Trump administration and Trump’s vicious rhetoric toward immigrants and Mexican Americans means that we are fighting an uphill battle. And worse yet, the Texas Legislature decided to not to devote a single penny to ensuring an accurate count.
That’s why every person we reach with our 2020 Census campaign, Unidos Contamos, will be critical for the future well-being of the region. You can help us succeed. Learn how below.
“¡YO CUENTO!” “I COUNT!” That’s the phrase players yell when they win Censo Lote, the census-themed Mexican bingo game LUPE has created to animate participation in the 2020 Census. Read more about how we are using the popular game to reach hard-to-count neighborhoods in the Rio Grande Valley.
Did you seen our Censo Lotería game in the @nytimes?
Want to play a game of census-themed lotería with your friends and family this holiday?
— La Union del Pueblo Entero (@LUPE_rgv) December 20, 2019
Did you know that censuses have been a practice since before Jesus was born? Read how LUPE members are using the Mexican Christmas tradition to animate colonia residents to participate in the Census.
High-Stakes Population Count
An undercount of the economically struggling Rio Grande Valley would mean that much needed federal dollars would be allocated in a smaller proportion as compared to our actual population. That means that schools, hospitals, roads and other services we all depend on would struggle to keep up with the growing region without the full support of the federal government.
The political power of the Rio Grande Valley is also at play in the 2020 Census. The outcome could strengthen or dilute the power of Hispanics in Austin and Washington, depending on how fully we are counted.
That means we need to make sure Rio Grande Valley colonias are counted. Colonias are rural subdivisions that fall behind city neighborhoods in their services, housing quality, and infrastructure. They are some of the hardest to count neighborhoods and they are located in some of the hardest to count counties in the US — Texas’s majority Hispanic border counties.
LUPE is part of Hidalgo County’s Complete Count Committee and is collaborating with the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network.