Ad Spot

Stand up, be counted: Port Arthur hopes for accurate census

Port Arthur city officials and community leaders met this week with a Census Bureau specialist to learn more about maximizing the city’s official population count in April.

Port Arthur spokeswoman Cheryl Gibbs said Dr. Delena King, senor partnership specialist, talked with representatives from agencies and organizations that will be significant to getting a correct population count April 1, which is when the Census formally starts.

Gibbs said among those present were representatives from Port Arthur government, city schools, industry, clergy and more.

“The Census 2020 meeting gave us all a chance to understand a little more about the great significance and bearing on the community in which we live, work and play,” Gibbs said in an issued statement.

She and other city officials maintain the city must achieve an official population count of 50,000 residents in order to qualify for important levels of federal funding. That may be no easy task: Port Arthur officials believe that many residents fled the area during Hurricane and Tropical Harvey flooding and devastation in 2017; many have not returned.

Gibbs said King’s hour-plus presentation included topics such as confidentiality in the population count process. She said that’s important because many residents in historically low-count areas are wary of contact with the government and sometimes shy away from being counted.

Gibbs cited several Census tracts from 2010 that recorded low population counts, such as tracts 63, 64, 66, 67 and 69. Many of those were “multicultural mosaics,” she said, whose residents, many of whom live east of Highway 73, shared traits that worked against recording accurate counts.

For example, such said, the tracts have high concentrations of foreign-born residents with low percentages of college graduation. Most are Hispanic.

“How will they respond?” the Census Bureau’s written materials asked. “On average, this segment is predicted to respond at a low rate, with a below-average percentage of that response coming online.”

Those Port Arthur tracts recorded counts in 2010 that were estimated to be only 24 to 31 percent of the actual population. The result: Port Arthur was undercounted in the Census and at risk of receiving less federal funding than it merits.

The city’s goal, she said, was to count every resident. Those who will count residents in April are studying neighborhoods now to determine which housing units are occupied in order to effect a more accurate population count in April.

She said Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie suggested that if Port Arthur’s count fails to reach 50,000, it may yet gain a waiver because of population dislocation due to the flooding. But, she added, the city may be penalized if later Census counts show the city didn’t reach the mandated 50,000.

Local

Port Arthur EcoWerks donates thousands to help feed area residents in need

Columns

KAY DECUIR — Nederland’s Twelve Days of Christmas Basket Giveaway begins, golf cart parade nears

Local

Coast Guard: 27-year-old missing offshore from Sabine Pass after falling from tanker vessel

Local

Businessman, commissioner Waymon Hallmark remembered for longtime impact

Beaumont

Judge, assistant DA & JCSO Deputy Chief talk impacts of jury trials postponement until 2021

Local

Responding Nederland firefighters encounter visible residential fire & smoke

Groves

Groves Police Department arrests & responses: Nov. 25 – Dec. 1

Beaumont

CEO leaving Southeast Texas Food Bank, active search for new executive begins

Local

Abbott announces initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution for December

Local

Jefferson County not facing COVID business occupancy rollback just yet

Local

Police chase in Nederland leads to crash, 2 sent to hospital

Groves

Groves Police team with PNG students, volunteers to brighten Christmas for 50 families in need

Local

Dozens of stolen Port Arthur firearms are getting into criminals’ hands. You can help stop it.

Beaumont

Spindletop Center reopens newly renovated Hope Center

Local

PA Greater Minority Chamber asks shoppers to support Black-owned biz during holiday season

Local

Judge explains how Jefferson County businesses might roll back to 50% occupancy standard

Local

ICU hospitalizations due to COVID-19 more than double in Jefferson County

Local

Troopers: Pickup towing trailer strikes school bus with 17 students on board in Jefferson County

High School Sports

See how Titans coaches say Adrian Hayward is turning hard times into gridiron success

High School Sports

Two-way standout Kyndon Fuselier has 2 shots at receiving yards title

Local

Port Neches homeowner watching TV at 2 a.m. forced to fight man after break-in

Local

Port Arthur’s Ike Mills advocates for Justice for Black Farmers Act

Local

BRIGHT FUTURES — St. Catherine using smart thermometers to combat health concerns

Local

Mother expresses concern, wants help to slow down Port Neches speeders