Weatherford has a Census response rate of 58.2 percent, while the state is at 59.9 percent, according to 2020census. gov.
Weatherford is one of the higher response rate cities in Oklahoma, but Oklahoma as a state is on the lower end when compared to other states. The Census can be completed by mail, but also online at 2020census.gov.
“The Census which comes in the mail can look daunting, I find it so much easier to go online, and almost anybody can do it,” Attorney Juan Garcia, who is running for Oklahoma State House District 57, said.
Completing the Census is extremely important, because it affects the amount of money a city will receive from federal funding.
“For every person who doesn’t fill out the Census we are losing $1,700 a year for the next 10 years,” Lawyer Anthony Moore, who also is running for Oklahoma State House District 57, said.
The federal funding is used by the schools and cities to help build infrastructure such as roads. It goes toward grants and other funding which help economic growth.
“If our population is showing to be lower than it actually is, our funding is not going to be what’s required to fund our programs,” Moore said.
Not filling out the Census also can push Weatherford more toward other cities and closer outside of the rural area, when the district lines are redrawn in the next legislative session.
“If we want adequate representation we have to stand up and be counted, otherwise we’ll be pulled into less of a rural district which will pull us more toward El Reno and Yukon, Moore said when talking about how the Census affects Weatherford.
The deadline for the 2020 Census is September 30, and a preliminary Census number should be available soon.