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Downtown sign tracks census responses

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Members of the Roswell 2020 Complete Count Committee stand by a sign placed Monday morning outside the Roswell Visitors Center on North Main Street showing how close the area is to its goal of getting a 50,000 population count for the 2020 Census. From left are State Rep. Phelps Anderson, city Marketing Coordinator Thalia Pantoja-Gruis, Southwest Printers owner J.P. Cheney, Mayor Dennis Kintigh, Committee Head and Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcos Nava, Pastor and Harvest Ministries Executive Director Mark Green, local school board member Mona Kirk, Majestic Communications Manager Bob Entrop and Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Development Director Donna Oracion. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Census workers, or enumerators, will head to area households next week to follow up with people who have not yet responded to the 2020 census surveys.

“Our numbers will be going up,” said Marcos Nava, head of the 2020 Roswell Complete Count Committee and the executive director of the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

He added that about 50 enumerators to serve the area have been hired and trained.

He spoke Monday morning as the committee placed a sign outside the Roswell Visitors Center on North Main and Fifth streets that shows on one side the percent of households that have already completed the survey. The other side of the sign reminds people that every person counted represents about $37,450 in federal money for the area during a 10-year period.

Population counts and demographics from the surveys also determine state and federal legislative representation and are used by researchers for a variety of purposes, including making business decisions and determining public policy. Participation by all people living in the United States as of April 1 is required by law, with confidentiality of the information also ensured by law for 72 years.

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On Monday, the area’s self-response rate stood at 61.4%. Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Nava pointed to a 100% count in a photo to mark the day, but Nava has said previously that the area needs at least 72% households responding to reach the city goal of a 50,000 population count.

Radio advertisements featuring various people from the community will begin soon, Nava said, adding that additional upcoming efforts will include staffing booths at the Farmers’ and Gardeners’ Market, the Chile Cheese Festival and other community events.

The committee also plans to meet with apartment complex residents.

“This guy has done a terrific job,” said Mayor Dennis Kintigh. “What’s been accomplished has been because of his leadership.”

People have until Sept. 30 to complete the survey by mail, on the internet at my2020census.gov or by phone, 844-330-2020.