BY BETH DEDMAN
NYC Census 2020 released a public service announcement Feb. 27 featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda urging New Yorkers to participate in the 2020 Census.
The PSA, which was filmed in Spanish and English versions, will run online and on television in March as part of New York City’s $8 million investment in census-related advertising.
NYC Census 2020 is a $40 million initiative established by the de Blasio administration and the City Council to boost census participation among New Yorkers. NYC Census 2020 is investing $3 million of their advertising budgets in ethnic and community media to reach historically undercounted populations.
“We know to truly reach New Yorkers, they need to hear from trusted voices that represent their communities,” said Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020. “Both Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Lin-Manuel are homegrown stars whose voices and activism have inspired action in their communities. With two weeks until New Yorkers begin completing the census, this PSA will help get the word out to communities across New York, especially those in historically undercounted communities.”
The video emphasizes that the census is for everyone, regardless of immigration status, and that information provided to the U.S. Census Bureau is protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone, including law enforcement agencies.
The ad will also be translated into eight additional languages, including Albanian, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu and Tibetan. These languages are among the most common languages spoken by limited English proficiency New Yorkers.
The advertisement was produced by Next Millennium Productions and written by NYC Census 2020 staff. The spot will air on local news and entertainment networks.
The students featured in the PSA are City University of New York students and members of the CUNY Census Corps, a University-wide program supporting New York’s 2020 Census campaign. The CUNY Census Corps includes more than 200 students, who speak 44 languages, to go out to minority communities to encourage people to complete the census.
The census determines New York City’s share of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds that support public education, public housing, roads, bridges and more. The census also determines the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives, which also affects the seats in the Electoral College.
NYC Census 2020 is built on four pillars: a $19 million community-based awards program, the “Get Out the Count” field campaign, the messaging and marketing campaign, and an in-depth Agency and Partnerships engagement plan that seeks to use the city’s workforce and the major institutions to communicate with New Yorkers about the critical importance of census participation.
Ocazio-Cortez, Miranda and Menin released a 60-second version of the PSA on Twitter Feb. 27. The NYC Mayor’s Office released the video on their YouTube channel.