Last Thursday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) made one thing clear; he refuses to leave anyone behind behind for the 2020 Census.
On Aug. 15, Johnson announced an early allocation of $4 million in the annual budget to fund community-based organizations. The recipient organizations will use the money for census-planning operations to ensure that everyone gets counted next year. This is part of the overall $14 million the Council is dedicating to the cause.
“This funding is just the beginning, a first step toward getting an accurate count in order for us to receive the federal funds and the number of political representatives we deserve,” said Johnson. “The City Council recognizes the vital work community-based organizations will contribute to help ensure every New Yorker gets counted in the 2020 Census. It is important that these organizations start working now. It is critical we get a successful count.”
The Census plays a key role in determining how much federal funding New York receives for basic services, such as public education, housing and healthcare. Unfortunately, New York’s response rate for the last Census in 2010was ten points below the national average – a mistake Johnson does not intend to repeat.
“Our response rate in the last census was lower than the national average, and we cannot and will not let this happen again,” said Johnson. “A complete count will send a strong message to the Trump Administration that New York is not invisible and not intimidated by the president’s attacks on our diverse communities.”
Council Member and Census Task Force Co-Chair Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) fully supported the measure, reiterating the importance of ensuring a complete count.
“This initial $4 million investment by the City Council marks an important first step in our city’s census outreach efforts in 2020,” said Rivera. While we achieved an important victory this summer when President Trump’s illegal citizenship question was removed from the Census, we will keep fighting – with a historic $40 million commitment from the city and unprecedented partnerships with communities, non-profits, and business leaders – to ensure we achieve a complete count in 2020.”
The other Co-Chair of the Task Force, Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), said that the funding will be particularly beneficial for New York’s hard-to-count neighborhoods.
“This infusion of funding will ensure that front-line groups in the hardest to count neighborhoods have the resources they need to encourage every New Yorker to complete the census,” said Menchaca. “The stakes are too high to get this wrong, and thanks to the leadership of Speaker Johnson, and the tireless advocacy of our community partners, we are in a position to substantially affect the outcome.”