Home News Local News Census worker aims to help Roswell reach 50,000

Census worker aims to help Roswell reach 50,000

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Submitted Photo Alice Palma-Armendariz offers her help to all filling out 2020 Census forms regardless of immigration fears.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Born and raised in Artesia, Alice Palma-Armendariz has been a resident of Roswell for 40 years.

Working with others for decades, she has had a rewarding career in both the insurance and health care industries. Now Alice is about to embark on a journey that’s at the forefront of the national news; she will be setting her sights on speaking to Roswell residents and collecting data for the 2020 Census.

Alice’s background certainly shows her desire to work with people and help improve the community.

“I started my career at State Farm Insurance,” Alice said. “I then worked for Vista Care Hospice as an admissions coordinator, and was involved in the implementation of the NM Health Insurance Exchange Program due to the initiation of the Affordable Care Act. I worked for La Casa Family Health Center at the time as a promotora.”

But her work to help both the community and the people of Roswell did not stop there.

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“I became a certified enrollment counselor for the NM Health Exchange Program, and currently I am a social worker employed by Presbyterian Health Plan as nursing facility care coordinator,” she said.

Becoming a board member of the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce in August 2018, their mission — to help all businesses grow, as well as help our Hispano communities thrive — became her mission.

“When I started, the chamber was in the process of creating a new board,” Alice said. “As a member, I attend monthly board meetings to strategically plan and follow up on events that the board has agreed to hold. I also participate in as many of the events as I possibly can.”

Since the origination of the new Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce board, Alice tells of the many city-wide events they’ve been involved in.

“We have partnered up with other city leaders, such as ENMU-R, and provided ideas to create the university’s 5-year strategic plan. Roswell Chamber of Commerce partnered with us last year to hold the very successful Cinco de Mayo event and, last November, the Roswell Public Library partnered with us to hold Roswell’s very first Dia de los Muertos event held at the library.”

The most popular event is the Pinatafest, which is a cultural celebration that coincides with Mexico’s Independence Day.

With many city businesses becoming members of the Hispano Chamber, Alice and the board assist them with the promotion of the services they offer. This is achieved by holding workshops or tardeadas at their location. Because of COVD-19 restrictions, however, the chamber also allows businesses to provide their current information, which is then posted on the chamber’s Facebook page in order to keep the community updated during these ever-changing times.

Being that Alice is a truly caring individual who wishes to work hard to increase Roswell’s economy and help local businesses succeed, it’s no surprise that she volunteered to be a census worker.

“I believe it’s very important that we’re able to get the maximized funding for our local community,” she said. “An accurate census count can help our community get its fair share of federal funding to be spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. It was very disheartening during the last census that we missed having a population of 50,000 by only a few counts.”

By speaking with people, addressing their concerns, and showing them all the benefits that can come from filling out the census, Alice hopes Roswell will reach that “magic number” this time around. The job of census worker, however, will not be an easy one.

“Due to the recent restrictions of social distancing, the Roswell/Chaves County 2020 Census Committee has had to work extra hard to be creative in reaching out to the community and encouraging them to complete their census for their household,” Alice said. “As a census worker, I will be assigned a list of residences within my local neighborhood of those who have not yet responded. It will be my responsibility to make contact with persons of that residence and assist and/or encourage them to complete the census.”

The census can be completed by mail, phone or online, and the Roswell/Chaves County 2020 Census Committee, headed by Marcos Nava, the chamber’s executive director, will also be assisting in getting an accurate count for Roswell and Chaves County. Alice spoke about the planning of events that will hopefully bring resident participation.

“A census sign-up rally was held this past Saturday, June 6, at the Roswell Convention Center. Plans are also to hold similar events at local churches, work with managers of major apartment complexes, and partner with others to plan community events that will be held in the near future.”

Other efforts to spread the word will be through radio and yard signs.

“There will also be more radio announcements in both English and Spanish, and in a couple of weeks, there will be a new wave of yard signs spread throughout our neighborhoods,” Alice said.

According to Alice, it was reported in the last census count that the north side of town was well accounted for.

“In my opinion,” she said, “it is the south side of town that needs encouragement and assistance. I live on the south side, and will do everything in my power to make sure that everyone is counted, for the benefit of our community.”

What Alice wanted to share with Roswell is the fact that the census is highly important and should not be disregarded, set aside or feared in any way.

“I would like to encourage everyone to complete their census forms, because together, we can make our city and community better; not only for ourselves but for our children, grandchildren and the future of Roswell,” Alice said. “If we can accomplish our goal of 50,000, we can look forward to attracting new businesses; we can have better schools; improved health care services will be available to us; and, we can look forward to gaining more money for road improvement.”

Alice, as always, offers even more support.

“If there is anyone fearful of completing the forms due to immigration status, they can come to me to help fill their forms out: I may be reached at 575-420-2855.

“Please understand that the 2020 Census is committed to keeping immigration status confidential, so there is no need for fear.”

With the determination Alice has, the hard work she and others are putting in, and the help they’re willing to provide residents, there’s little doubt Roswell will achieve its goal.

 

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