Response data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, among the 30 largest cities in the U.S., Austin ranks 15th when it comes to Census 2020 self-response rates.
As of April 4, 41.8% of Austin residents had been counted, according to data from the U.S. Bureau passed along by Ryan Robinson, Austin's demographer. At the top of the list is Seattle, where 53% of residents have responded.
Nationally, 46.2% of households had responded, according to an April 8 press release.
Because billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed based on population counts, the census bureau estimates that for every person not counted, a community stands to lose about $1,500 annually—or $15,000 in the decade before the next count is conducted.
This year's census is the first to allow residents to respond online and by phone in addition to mailing in a form.
The coronavirus pandemic has all but halted the census bureau's ground game, which initially called for nearly half a million part-time workers to follow up with non-respondents.
Between March 22 and March 28, 40,514 temporary workers were paid for census-related work, according to an April 7 press release.
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The City of Austin law department has more than 100 attorneys and staff. Yet when time came to litigate a new land use proposal last year, the city turned to an outside firm. That decision has so far cost the city $119,583 in a hitherto fruitless lawsuit.
Financial records reviewed by The Austin Bulldog show that the city paid that amount to the firm Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP, mostly for attorney Jane Webre, who charged $480 an hour.
Read the full story at The Austin Bulldog.
Despite being the second most populous state and administering more vaccines on average than the top 10 biggest states on a per capita basis, Texas ranks 48th against other states for vaccine distribution with fewer vaccines received than the four most populous states.
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