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Many typically undercounted in the census; help change that trend

Newborns and young children are among the most undercounted groups in the census. You can add young adults, ages 18 to 24; Hispanics/Latinos; Native Americans and low-income families/renters to the undercounted.

The reasons vary as to why census participation is low among these populations. Getting a complete count in the 2020 Census, however, is needed to better position the region for quality growth and ensure that the diverse needs of our region’s population are met. In fact, billions of federal dollars are at stake since census statistics determine how funds are distributed among states.

A more accurate population count – from newborns to seniors – tells a better story of the needs of our region and helps to channel those federal dollars to community programs and services that could support childcare, food assistance, education, health insurance, roads and public transportation, for example.

Young children, 0-4

Many people forget to count their children, especially those under the age of five, in the census. Programs important to the welfare of children that receive federal funding include:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicare, Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Section 8 Housing programs
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

People should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time. If your child spends equal time in different homes, count them where they are on April 1, 2020.

Young adults, 18-24

Many young adults, especially those in college, have never participated in a census and may not be fully aware that census data help to determine:

  • Fair government representation
  • Job creation
  • Funding levels for education

College students are counted where they live and sleep on April 1, 2020.


No group is more undercounted than Hispanic/Latino children, but the Hispanic/Latino population as a whole is traditionally undercounted in the census. Accurate participation in the 2020 Census can lead to better funding for important programs that serve the community, such as:

  • Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program
  • Medicaid
  • Child Care and Development Fund
  • Title 1 education grants

Native American

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, many Native Americans live in hard-to-count census tracts. An undercount results in government underrepresentation and a risk of reduced funding for the following services:

  • Head Start
  • Indian Health Service
  • The Indian Housing Block Grant
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program

Low income

Getting an accurate count for low income families is vital. Programs that support low income families include:

  • Child care and development (Head Start, Child Care and Development Fund)
  • School lunch (SNAP, National School Lunch Program)
  • Health care and insurance (Community, Migrant, Homeless, Public Housing, Health Care Programs)
  • Safe and clean housing (Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program)
  • Energy assistance (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)

Everyone living in the United States is required to participate in the census. By mid-March, people can start submitting their census forms online, by phone or mail. Important for everyone to know is that, by law, personal information remains confidential and secure. Help share the important message of why people should participate in the census. Let’s get everyone counted.

PAG seeks public comment on plans

Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (Section 208) – A 30-day public comment period for the 208 Plan starts on Dec. 30. The plan addresses water pollution sources, such as solid waste, industry, stormwater and domestic wastewater, by inventorying sources of pollution, water quality conditions, management efforts and goals.

New or changing facilities must follow adopted processes to be consistent with the 208 Plan. The draft plan was developed over a two-year period with input from PAG’s member jurisdictions.

A 45-day public notice for a public hearing started on Dec. 13. The hearing will be held at noon on Jan. 30 at the PAG Regional Council meeting. Comments will be accepted through the hearing date.

Long-Range Regional Transit Plan – A 30-day public comment period for the transit plan started on Dec. 13 and closes at 5 p.m. on Jan. 13. The plan focuses on network design, operating hours and infrastructure needs.

Strategies identified to strengthen the regional transit system include: 1) targeted improvements to regional transit routes, 2) expanding the Frequent Transit Network, 3) improving weekend and evening service, and 4) infrastructure improvements supporting speed, reliability and service quality. No funding sources have been identified for this plan’s recommendations at this time.

A 45-day public notice for a public hearing started on Dec. 13. The hearing will be held at noon on Jan. 30 at the PAG Regional Council meeting.

For more information, please visit Comments may be emailed to

PAG prepares update for long-range transportation plan

Every four years, Pima Association of Governments is required to update its long-range transportation plan, known as the 2045 Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan (RMAP). The plan covers the Tucson metropolitan area.

When completed, the 2045 RMAP Update will be a fiscally constrained document that outlines regional transportation investment priorities over a 25-year period (2020-2045). In order to receive federal funding that comes into the region, scheduled transportation projects must be from the adopted RMAP.

Final preparations include looking at future travel demands, performance measures, and the analysis of air quality and Title VI impacts of projects in the draft plan.

The document must be approved by the PAG Regional Council.

What transit improvements are covered under the RTA plan?

Please select which of the following apply. You may select more than one.

A. Shuttles to the Phoenix airport
B. Park-and-ride transit centers
C. Uber rides
D. Express bus services
E. Streetcar


Pima Association of Governments seeks nominations for annual regional leadership award

Nominations for Pima Association of Governments’ annual Thomas L. Swanson Regional Leadership Award will be accepted through Jan. 6, 2020.

Criteria for the award include the following:

  • The recipient works collaboratively across often restrictive jurisdictional boundaries.
  • The recipient must promote cooperation among citizens and local elected officials.
  • The recipient must provide leadership for innovation on regional issues such as transportation, air quality, water quality and economic vitality.

The award, named in honor of a former PAG executive director, was established in June 2004 in memory of the strong regional leadership exemplified by Swanson. Swanson distinguished himself throughout his career by working in cooperation with all segments of the region to address regional issues.

Nominations must be received no later than Jan. 6. The award recipient will be announced at a future meeting of PAG’s Regional Council. Nomination forms and additional award information is available online at under Annual Awards in the About section. Nominations may be submitted to

Central Broadway project closer to breaking ground

As the Broadway Boulevard improvement project, from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road, moves toward a launch, the optimism and enthusiasm for the project to get underway is picking up as well.

"Whenever a new project launches, there is room for celebration," said Regional Transportation Authority Board Chair Mike Hammond. "The RTA Board is committed to delivering projects approved by voters. Projects are being completed, while other major projects are getting started during the remainder of our 20-year plan. This Broadway project is within our urban core and has tremendous potential for economic improvement in that area once it is completed."

The project is one of 35 regional corridor improvement projects in the voter-approved RTA plan. A majority of funding for the $71.3 million project will come from the RTA, with additional contributions coming from the City of Tucson and Pima County. The contractor that has been selected is the Ashton Company, and project start up activities are currently being planned to take place early next year.

The roadway will be widened to six lanes with new sidewalks, bike lanes, 16 (full or partial) bus pullouts and a raised median for safety.

The project encompasses the Sunshine Mile, which is "alive and growing," according to the Sunshine Mile website. The nickname for this stretch of Broadway goes back to the 1950s when local residents realized they could achieve success by owning their own business on Tucson’s main east-west corridor. The war was over, and the American economy was booming.

"We have seen how RTA plan improvements have contributed toward economic success across the region, such as near the Twin Peaks Road and interchange area to Houghton Road at Mary Ann Cleveland Way," Hammond said. "We look forward to ongoing economic benefits along the Broadway corridor and other RTA plan projects as well as the added safety and improved mobility we are experiencing."

RTA Project Status     RTA Financial Status  
Through Nov. 2019     Through Nov. 2019  
Projects in Design 58   Collections $970.9M
Under Construction/Implementation 55   Funds Committed $1.32B
Total Number Completed 859   Funds Expended $1.3B
      Fund Balance $94.1M

Stay informed!

The Regional Transportation Authority's Citizens Advisory Committee is in the process of developing a new 20-year RTA plan. To keep informed of plan development updates, please click here or sign up for email notices by texting us: Type 22828 in the Recipient field and rtanews in the Enter Message field.

The next RTA Citizens Advisory Committee meeting will be at 11 a.m., Jan. 13, 2020, at Pima Association of Governments, 1 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 401, Tucson.

View the current RTA Our Mobility brochure and updates on RTA projects.


©Pima Association of Governments | 1 E Broadway Blvd, Suite 401, Tucson, AZ 85701 | Telephone (520) 792-1093, FAX (520) 620-6981