I know that we are all busy keeping ourselves, our families, and our community safe during this public health crisis. However, there is another urgent issue that I urge you to keep in mind, as it will affect our readiness for future health emergencies. Each of us must complete the 2020 Census.
As today is National Census Day, please remember that our ability to address a wide variety of important public needs – from disaster planning, to education, transportation, and public health – is directly affected by our Census responses, determining how the federal government allocates more than $675 billion a year. The funding on which our City relies will be jeopardized unless we all – every household – respond to the Census.
Our political power in Washington is also at stake. With a poor response to the Census, New York State could potentially lose two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. If we have fewer people fighting for our interests, our voices will be diminished.
Unfortunately, New York City’s current response rate is lower than that of the country as a whole. New Yorkers are winners. We cannot let other states beat us! Remember that:
- Your immigration status doesn’t matter (there is no citizenship question)!
- Your language doesn’t matter (the census will collect responses in 13 languages)!
- Your age doesn’t matter (babies count too)!
It’s also very easy to complete the census, as there are only ten questions. It takes less than ten minutes to respond — but the impact will be felt for the next ten years.
This is our one chance this decade to be counted. Complete the census right now — and then encourage two people to do the same.
By William J. Fritz
Want to learn more? Check out www.cuny.edu/census #CUNYcounts #GetCountedNYC