Op-Ed | What one call can do

Julie Menin, director of NYC Census 2020. (File photo)

By Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020 

When it comes to the 2020 Census, we’re all in this together. Because for each of us to get the resources and services we deserve, we all need to be counted. 

We have made progress. In 2010, New York City’s census self-response rate (61.9%) was 14 percentage points behind the national total (75.8%). Today, NYC’s census self-response rate is 51%, and the national total is 60.5%, showing a gap of 9.5 percentage points. And we’ve started to outpace the nation according to one important metric. Since May 12, the national census self-response rate has increased by just 1.8 percentage points while NYC’s rate has increased by 3.2 percentage points.

However, in some areas of NYC, as low as 35% of residents in the area have filled out the census, and we need to get those numbers up as much as possible in the time we have left. 

Luckily, you can be a part of the solution. Because while responses in some areas are low, many people will respond once they hear from a fellow New Yorker. At this link, you’ll find virtual phone banks for Queens and Brooklyn and phone banks for bilingual and multilingual speakers, from Mandarin to Spanish. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how much we all rely on our public services, and we only get this chance once a decade. 

With phone-banks almost every day of the week, there are countless opportunities to get involved, with plenty of flexibility. Visit nyc.gov/censuscalls to make a difference today. 

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.