A Congresswomen's Census Plea

A local congresswoman is urging Houstonians to fill out their census and mail it in. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says some of the people who stand to benefit the most from the census are the ones who aren't turning them in. Bill Stamps has more.
According to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, less than 3 out of every 10 Texas households has mailed in the census so far. That's worse than the nation as a whole. Since much of the government's funding depends on population, Jackson Lee says Houston stands to gain or lose a lot.

"If we do not get counted, we will lose police officers, firefighters, resources for schools like Holland Middle School or Pleasantville Elementary School or our city library. Many people don't understand that the census is a lifeline of resources."


I am a Houstonian and I countJackson Lee says minorities are the least likely to fill out the census. She says some are even refusing because of the word negro, or negro, depending on the language.

"In pockets around America, there are people not filling it out because they saw the word negro. I am not fluent in Spanish, but negro means black in Spanish. In the 2000 census, thousands of people checked negro. I can't tell you what their desires are. It might have described them."

Because of the population growth, she says the Houston area could also get more congressional districts, but they need those census forms to get an accurate count of the population.