By MIKE LEE
Make sure you’re counted.
Millions of dollars and adequate political representation are at stake for New York City in the upcoming 2020 Census.
“It is not an overstatement to say that the single most important issue that will effect the city’s future for the next 10 years is the Census,” says Julie Menin, the director of NYC Census 2020, a newly-created office to encourage participation by city residents.
She notes that in the 2010 Census, New York’s response rate was only 62 percent and more than a million children weren’t counted. That cost the state two congressional seats and much-needed funding for public services.
DC 37 is working with labor unions and community groups to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the upcoming Census, which will begin next March.
As part of that effort, we will be getting the word out to members at upcoming general membership meetings and attending community meetings to start planning strategy, said Erica Vargas, Assistant Director at DC 37’s Political Action Dept.
An accurate census count ensures that New York receives their fair share of more than $800 billion from the Federal budget. These monies, divided up among the states in the course of the following decade, provides funding for necessary social services such as education, housing, Medicaid, as well as for programs like Head Start, WIC, and many other services that make up the social safety net.
Tens of thousands of DC 37 members help deliver these services that our most vulnerable residents need.
A true count safeguards New York’s political power. Since 1990, the state has lost 7 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, thus reducing New York’s influence in the “people’s house.”
DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido stressed the vital importance that members need to get involved and ensure a fair and accurate count in the upcoming U.S. Census.
“We took the Census for granted for so long, and we risk millions of dollars if our members, their families, and our communities are not being counted,” he said.
The deadline to complete a census form online, mail or by phone is April 30.