SAN BENITO, Texas – To help promote Census 2020, the City of San Benito is hosting a block party for local residents.

Along with Starr County, San Benito is believed to have been the Rio Grande Valley community to have suffered the most from a large undercount during the 2010 Census.

Information about Census 2020 will be given out at the block party, which is free to attend. It is being co-hosted by the San Benito Public Housing Authority, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero and San Benito CISD.

“Come and join us for live entertainment, free food and drinks, kids’ games and music,” said Martha McClain, public relations director for the City of San Benito.

McClain chairs San Benito’s Complete Count Committee. The city’s motto for the census efforts is San Benito Counts.

The event takes place at Heavin Park, San Benito, on Thursday, Feb. 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ensuring a full and accurate count is currently the No. 1 issue for San Benito leaders. They say the city was shortchanged during the census count of 2010 and as a result lost out on millions of federal dollars. In a recent livestream with the Rio Grande Guardian, San Benito City Manager Manny De La Rosa said he believes over 10,000 residents were not counted.

“The Census Bureau says our population is about 24,500. We think it is closer to 40,000. Our elected officials know their citizenry. We know there is a large undercount. What it is, exactly, has yet to be determined,” De La Rosa said.

McAllen Arts Competition

To help promote Census 2020 in McAllen, the McAllen City Commission and McAllen ISD have teamed up to launch an art competition for local students.

Seby Haddad

The “Everyone Counts!” art contest will be open to all McAllen I.S.D. students.

“I can’t stress enough how important this project is for our community,” said McAllen City Commissioner Victor ‘Seby’ Haddad.

“If we can get our children involved, educated and aware of how important the Census is and how it will impact their lives in the next ten years, then we all benefit. I’m excited to see the creativity from the kids in this great initiative.”

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows the San Benito Complete Count Committee meeting recently at San Benito Public Library.