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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Kicks-off City Efforts To Ensure All New York City Residents Are Counted In 2010 Census

April 7, 2009

Mayor Signs Executive Order to Create NYC 2010 Census Office and Appoints Stacey Cumberbatch as City Census Coordinator

Historically, City Census Response Rate Falls Far Below National Average

NYC has the Highest Percentage of "Hard-to-Count" Residents in the Country

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today kicked-off the City's efforts to ensure a full and accurate count of all New York City residents in the 2010 Census by announcing the signing of an executive order establishing the NYC 2010 Census Office, headed by newly appointed City Census Coordinator Stacey Cumberbatch.  The new City Census office will work closely with the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Office, coordinate efforts amongst City agencies and form partnerships across the City with community organizations, cultural and educational institutions, faith-based organizations, labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups and others.  More than $20 billion of annual federal funds are distributed to New York City based on the decennial Census, including funding for schools, counter-terrorism and security efforts, and social service organizations. Elected representation at the federal, state and local levels is also determined by the Census. In the 2000 Census, the response rate in the City was 55 percent, well below the national average of 67 percent.

"Census data determines our representation in Washington and Albany and the level of funding we receive from the State and Federal government, yet New York City's Census response rate has historically lagged far behind the national average," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We are kicking off a new effort to get the message out that there's nothing to fear from filling out a Census survey, and that we need every New York City resident counted.  We're targeting the low response rate areas and hard-to-count groups and will be working with community groups across the City to break down the barriers that prevent participation in the Census."

"The Census is a critically important issue to our City and I want to thank the Mayor for focusing on it by establishing the NYC 2010 Census Office, with the mission of ensuring that all New Yorkers are aware of the upcoming 2010 Census and encouraged to participate," said New York City Census Coordinator Stacey Cumberbatch. "I look forward to working with the regional census office, City agencies and communities across New York City to do everything we can to ensure every New Yorker is counted."  

"The partnership and collaboration taking place now in 2009 with the Census Bureau and Mayor Bloomberg's Census Office will prove to be invaluable in reaching our goal of getting the most accurate count in 2010 for New York City," said Lester A. Farthing, the U.S. Census Bureau's New York Regional Director.  "We want residents to know that the 2010 census is easy, it's safe and it's important; by law, answers provided to the Bureau cannot be shared with any other agency or person, and this will be the shortest questionnaire ever."

The NYC 2010 Census Office has four key missions:

  • Forming a group of "NYC 2010 Partners," comprised of leaders from across the City representing different sectors. The partnership will include community organizations, cultural and educational institutions, faith-based organizations, labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups and others. Each group will be asked to use their existing networks to distribute information about the Census.

  • Helping the U.S. Census Bureau's regional office to identify the populations and neighborhoods in New York City that have been hard-to-count in the past. The Census Office will work together with at least 20 City agencies including the Department of City Planning, the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit, the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Office for People with Disabilities, and City Commission on Human Rights.

  • Collaborating with the federal government to raise public awareness and encourage greater participation in the 2010 Census.  The focus will be on populations that have traditionally been hard-to-count, including, immigrants, communities of color, low-income households and single New Yorkers.

  • Using the City's existing communication networks to distribute information about the Census.  NYC & Company, for example, is already working to develop a public outreach campaign and the New York City Housing Authority has assigned a staff person to the NYC 2010 Census Office to develop and implement a communications plan to reach the more than 633,000 NYCHA residents.

The Census response rate in New York City has traditionally lagged well behind the national average. The low response rate in the City is due to a combination of factors, including the large population of immigrants, who may have privacy concerns, a fear or mistrust of government or face language barriers. New York City has the highest percentage of "hard-to-count" residents, which also includes low-income households, renters and single men and women.

A key component to the City's effort will be informing the public that under federal law, the personal information collected by the Census is entirely confidential, and can not be shared with any federal, state, or city agency.

Since the year 2000, New York City's population has increased by 4.4 percent.  The City's population stands at 8,363,710 according the July 2008 Census Bureau estimate.

Mayor Bloomberg appointed Stacey Cumberbatch as the New York City Census Coordinator in January 2009.  Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Cumberbatch served for five years as Chief of Staff to the New York City Housing Authority. She has also served as Chief of Staff/Special Counsel to the New York City Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs, as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General's Office and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City's Law Department.  She also worked for several years in philanthropy for the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and the Open Society Institute where she managed grant making programs in the areas of environmental protection, legal services and civil justice reform.

Ms. Cumberbatch holds a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College.

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