Op-Ed: This Census Day, let’s mobilize New York City

United States Census 2010
Photo via Getty Images

By Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020 

Don’t be fooled — April 1st may have a reputation for pranks, but it’s also one of the most important dates for the 2020 Census. Why? Because April 1st is Census Day.

Contrary to popular belief, Census Day is not the final day (or the only day) that you can respond to the census. If you haven’t filled it out yet, don’t worry, you still have time (although there’s no time like the present). 

So what is Census Day? It actually serves a practical purpose. To make sure all our census data has a standard reference point, everyone is asked to fill out the census with information that reflects their households at the same moment, April 1st. This is why we can say the census is like a snapshot of our communities. 

But this Census Day, we’re also taking time to recognize the importance of the census. In these difficult times, many of us are looking for ways that we can help support our communities, and filling out the census is one of the most vital ways to help shape our future for the better. Now more than ever, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, we need a complete count so our communities can get the funding we need for hospitals & healthcare, as well as the data we need to respond to emergencies. And since we can do the census online, by phone, or by mail, we can get counted while practicing social distancing.

 Join us and spread the word. New Yorkers will be posting the Census Day challenge online — and we need you involved. It’s as easy as sharing your census story or a picture on social media and tagging three friends, challenging them to complete the 2020 Census and pass the challenge along to another three people. (Visit nyc.gov/census to learn more and follow the conversation via the hashtag #GetcountedNYC). So if you’ve been putting off any texts or meaning to check in with anyone, let Census Day be your push to reach out. Your community will thank you for it.

 So get counted, challenge your friends, and let’s make it count.

Making Sense of the Census” is a weekly column from Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020. Every week we will be publishing pieces from Julie and guest authors laying out the facts and answering tough questions about this year’s census. Fill out the census now at my2020census.gov