The 2020 Census is fast approaching, and the city of Huntsville is taking steps to make sure everyone is included.
One group wants to put the Hispanic community at ease to make sure they're counted.
"There are a lot of people who are afraid. They are afraid and nervous because of how things are now," Feliciano Lopez said.
Lopez says he can understand why some Hispanic people don't want to participate in next year's census.
"One reason is because of immigration laws. They are afraid of the government knowing how many people are here or where they live. That's why they are scared," Lopez said.
The Hispanic Latino Advisory Council is trying to put their fears at ease.
"The census does not share information with anybody. The language of the census is numbers. They don't have names. They don't have anything that could identify anybody," Chairman Roberto Santiago said.
Participation in the census is important because it determines how much money each state gets from the federal government. That's why Santiago says everyone, no matter what their citizenship status may be, should participate.
"The census objective is to count everybody who lives in a certain area, because when you come to think about it, we are all consumers. If we have a hospital, a school, a recreational center or sports center, it's for everybody to enjoy," Santiago said.
Lopez says he also wants to encourage everyone to participate in order to help his community.
"We need that support. We need to unite and participate. We also need to trust in that association in order to help one another," Lopez said.
Right now, the council is setting up booths at churches and events to get out the word. They're using the slogan, "Huntsville Cuenta," or "Huntsville Counts," to motivate people.
The advisory council is an official counting committee for next year's census, which starts next April.
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