Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today kicked off the State's Census Push Week urging New Yorkers to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census before the October 31, 2020 deadline and to make sure every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming census.
"The Census gives New Yorkers the chance to profoundly affect our state's future, and since federal funding and representation in Congress are determined by the Census count, it's absolutely critical that every New Yorker is counted and that residents are informed that Census responses, regardless of the respondents' immigration or citizenship status, are confidential, safe and secure," Governor Cuomo said. "There's no doubt that COVID-19 has presented unprecedented obstacles to completing the Census. However, the pandemic also highlights a key reason why the Census is so vital—New York State continues to seek substantial funding and aid from the federal government. I urge every New Yorker to complete the Census, and remember, New York State can help if you encounter any issues along the way."
As part of Census Push Week, the Office for New Americans is hosting a Census Hotline Phone Bank Event on August 5th and 6th from 2pm to 4pm to provide information and answer questions about the Census. The hotline phone bank event will be primarily Spanish-language, with full multi-language access available for all callers.
State agencies are continuing outreach activities to encourage New Yorkers to fill out the Census, including:
- MTA is distributing census information across more than 5,434 digital screens in its system, including stations and transit vehicles.
- The Department of State is training its network of Community Action Agencies, which promote services that combat poverty, to raise awareness of the Census. In addition, the DOS Division of Licensing Services, which interacts with more than 800,000 New Yorkers in 39 occupations, is promoting the Census through its customer service phone line.
- The Department of Financial Services is delivering awareness messages and coordinating their use among the community banks, banks in underbanked areas, check cashers, and money transmission officers, among other entities licensed by the agency.
- Empire State Development is promoting the Census with and distributing materials to the REDCs and their members, welcome centers and other ESD facilities, among other activities.
State agencies are also continuing their coordinated effort across social media platforms to amplify the need for all New Yorkers to participate in the Census.
On a national level, this comes as the Republicans in Congress are signaling that the Census Bureau cannot take the extra time it has said it needs in order to count every person living in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic — even if that risks leaving some residents out of the 2020 census.
Rushing to deliver new state population counts to the president by Dec. 31, and more detailed data to the states by March 31, 2021, as required by current federal law, could risk severe inaccuracies in the once-a-decade count, especially among people of color, immigrants, rural residents and other historically undercounted groups.
With less than 95 days until the Census Bureau plans to stop tallying the country's residents at the end of October, roughly four out of 10 households nationwide have yet to be included in the constitutionally mandated count that is used to redistribute congressional seats, Electoral College votes and federal funding among the states.
Democrats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced legislation that would grant four-month extensions to the legal deadlines, including the House Democrats' latest coronavirus relief bill, in response to requests in April by the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau.