Filling out the Census form only takes five minutes, and it could mean millions of dollars for East Texas.  It's our chance to impact the population numbers on road signs, so let's do this.  

It's not like we're going to miss the Census forms in the mail because we haven't left the house in days.  The mailers started going out in mid-March and you might have gotten two of them, in fact.  I went to the web after I got the first letter and entered my info, and then the reminder letter arrived afterward.  They really want us to be counted.

The letters tell us that our responses are required by law, plus population numbers affect funding for things around East Texas.  We can help bring in more money for the area by filling it out.

Census numbers are used to help cities plan for the future, and the numbers help decide how we'll be represented in government.  Plus schools, hospitals, and fire departments rely on the numbers to access funding, and they might be able to use that money now more than ever.

It took me a few minutes to fill out the online form, and they didn't ask for any info that's not already in our heads.  There's no looking up ID numbers or codes or logins, or anything else that's a slight pain.  It's just a matter of filling in your name and address, and the names and ages of people who live with you.  It's a cinch.  And if you don't do it, they'll stay on your case until you do, with follow-up letters and texts, and maybe a visit.

Because of COVID-19, they've extended the deadline and you've got until August 14th to fill out the form now.  But they're hoping you'll do it sooner, while you have extra time at home, while you're watching Game of Thrones for the tenth time.

Six of the 10 counties with the largest population gains this decade were in Texas — Harris, Tarrant, Bexar, Dallas, Collin, and Travis — according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  How much has Tyler grown?  We won't know unless we all fill out the form.  They'll release the results in early 2021.