Like other county governments across the state and nation, Ellis County is gearing up for the 2020 Census — and is seeking volunteers to serve on its Complete Count Committee.
County Judge Todd Little said the Complete Count Committee will be made up of 20 people — 10 citizens recommended by the Commissioners’ Court, two from each precinct plus the judge, and another 10 at-large members who are involved in the community.
Little said the county has applied for, and received, a $6,000 grant from the United Way of West Ellis County for the committee.
“The goal would be for the committee would be to meet four to six times over the year and kind of develop a plan,” Little said at last Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. “The United Way is interested in helping, so they’re in the process of creating a website that will be a functional tool to have citizens go and find information about the census.”
Little said he has been told by census officials that, based on per-head population, every citizen that is counted in Ellis County translates to about $1,500 in grants from state, federal or non-profit organizations.
“If we’re at say 180,000 and we go to 200,000, that’s substantial money on those 20,000 new people that comes back to us in the form of grants,” Little said. “As our population increases, our representation goes up accordingly.”
Little mentioned his two suggestions for the committee: George Valdez, the former postmaster in Waxahachie; and Kasey Cheshier, the executive director of the United Way of West Ellis County. These two, and the other commissioners’ nominations, will be considered at the Dec. 30 Commissioners’ Court meeting.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Randy Stinson said the census counts not only American citizens but also undocumented immigrants, and that an outreach is needed to the Hispanic community to be counted. The U.S. Census Bureau is forbidden by law from sharing its information with immigration officials. Stinson said of the two committee members he’ll recommend, one of them will be Hispanic.
“There’s an un-trust factor there,” Stinson said. “But every one that doesn’t sign up, it costs our county, it costs our hospitals, it costs all of us money.”
Featured in the Midlothian Mirror - Dec 2019