2020 Census funding concerns trickle down to Deep East Texas com - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

2020 Census funding concerns trickle down to Deep East Texas community planners

Social worker and grant writer Lenola Wyatt of Center is concerned funding uncertainties for U.S. Census Bureau will hamper quick access to data needed to improve communities. (Source: KTRE Staff) Social worker and grant writer Lenola Wyatt of Center is concerned funding uncertainties for U.S. Census Bureau will hamper quick access to data needed to improve communities. (Source: KTRE Staff)
FactFinder is a tool used by grant writers when submitting grants, including those from federal agencies. (Source: KTRE Staff) FactFinder is a tool used by grant writers when submitting grants, including those from federal agencies. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The 2020 Census takes years of planning.  Unmet funding requests for census prep have long range planners on local levels concerned. (Source: KTRE Staff) The 2020 Census takes years of planning. Unmet funding requests for census prep have long range planners on local levels concerned. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

In just three days, Americans can access the most recent demographics collected annually through the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

The data is vital for all types of long range planning.  

The latest release comes in the middle of a funding uncertainty for the Census Bureau as it prepares for census 2020.

The “trickle-down” concerns are expressed by Deep East Texas community planners.

Social worker Lenola Wyatt submits grants for non-profit agencies nationwide. In her job, she can't have an aversion to numbers. 

"It is so important that data is there,” Wyatt said.

While others anticipate the release of, say, a new movie, Wyatt counts down to Thursday's updated census numbers. 

"Right here is 2011 through 2015,” Wyatt said. “It will change on Thursday and it will be on 2012 through 2016. We are holding out because we want the most recent data.”

 Wyatt is perplexed Congress can't agree on how much money to send the U.S. Census Bureau, the very agency that provides so many the answers to the questions on grant proposals.

"Grantees are always looking for statistics,” Wyatt said. “They like to hear the qualitative data also, but the quantitive data comes from the Census Bureau."

The concern for quick access to data is magnified with the approach of the 2020 census.  

Communities as small as Center to as large as New York City are being asked to play a vital role in the U.S. Census 2020. Preparation is where these places can help out the most.

Wyatt has been stepping up to publicize and educate East Texans about the role they can play in collecting census data. Her deep concern for community revitalization throughout East Texas and the nation is the driving force.  

In February, a sample of residents will receive in the mail the 2018 survey needed to update residential addresses. The information helps accomplish an accurate count during the 2020 census. 

Click here for the link to the U.S. Census Bureau website.

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