NEW YORK - NYC Census 2020 today released a new PSA featuring legendary New York Mets player and coach Edgardo Alfonzo. In addition to producing a PSA encouraging New Yorkers to complete the census, the Venezuelan-born ballplayer joined NYC Census 2020’s #QueCuenteMiGente telethon on Tuesday, June 30th.
While more than half of New York City households have completed the census (53.1% as of July 8), neighborhoods with significant Latinx populations including Cypress Hills (40.1%, North Corona (38.4%) and East Elmhurst (42.1%), are significantly behind the city’s overall self-response rate. This means that federal funding for critical services, such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and more are at risk for these neighborhoods.
“Edgardo Alfonzo has shown his pride for New York City as a player and coach for years, and his participation in census outreach is no different,” said NYC Census Director Julie Menin and Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department. “There is no immigration or citizenship question on the census, and all responses are completely confidential and cannot be used by anyone, including law enforcement, your landlord, or ICE. We thank Edgardo for going above and beyond to remind all New Yorkers that the census is for everyone.”
“Today, I would like to ask you a favor that will be fundamental for our own future and the future of our families,” said Edgardo Alfonzo in the PSA. “Now more than ever, with the damage the pandemic has brought to our communities, we need everyone to complete the census form, no matter where you’re from or your immigration status. In just five minutes, you can complete the census.”
“It is critical that Latinos in New York City are fully counted in order to receive the resources and representation our communities deserve,” said Catherine Almonte, Deputy Communications Director for NYC Census 2020. “Ensuring everyone is counted is a team effort, so we’re grateful to have Mets legend Edgardo Alfonzo join us in spreading the word. Trusted voices like his give credibility to the message that the 2020 Census is not only important but that it is safe.”
“As a lifelong New Yorker and a baseball fan, it’s a pleasure to team up with Edgardo Alfonzo of the Mets to speak to our communities about the importance of the census”, said Marco A. Carrión, Commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. “We’re in the 9th inning and really need to bring this home as Latinos have been the hardest hit by COVID-19. A complete count in the 2020 Census ensures we get the funding we will need to recover and rebuild.”
Census data is also used to make important community health care decisions. For example, census data is used by public health officials to get the foundational data needed to plan for and manage situations like COVID-19. Additionally, the census determines each state’s rightful share of representation in the House of Representatives, where critical financial decisions about recovery and relief funding are being made every day. New York stands to lose up to two congressional seats as a result of a potential undercount, which could mean fewer Black or Latinx congress members representing the five boroughs. There is significant evidence that the Trump Administration’s unsuccessful attempt to add a citizenship question to the census resulted in widespread fear and the spread of misinformation, which has led to suppressed Latinx and immigrant participation in the census.
New York City has made significant strides in census self-response rates, closing the gap with the rest of the nation. Today, New York City stands less than 9 percentage points behind the national total -- an improvement of 5 percentage points from 2010. And for over six weeks, New York City’s rate of increase has outpaced the rest of the nation thanks to a litany of efforts from NYC Census 2020 including direct outreach at food distribution sites, a targeted digital ad campaign, and digital organizing like the #QueCuenteMiGente telethon. Recently NYC Census 2020 and Seamless, Grubhub’s NYC-specific brand, also announced a contest where winners will receive ten $1,000 gift cards to New York City residents who recently completed the 2020 Census.
NYC Census 2020 has previously released PSAs featuring artists, celebrities, and public figures with strong ties to New York City, including singer Alicia Keys, rapper Cardi B, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Late Night host Seth Meyers, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. These PSAs are part of a strategy to reach historically undercounted New Yorkers and encourage people to self-respond to the census online or via phone, especially during COVID-19.
Important Facts about the 2020 Census:
NYC Census 2020 is a first-of-its-kind organizing initiative established by Mayor de Blasio in January 2019 to ensure a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. The $40 million program is built on four pillars: (1) a $19 million community-based awards program, The New York City Complete Count Fund, empowering 157 community-based organizations to engage historically undercounted communities around the 2020 Census; (2) an in-house "Get Out the Count" field campaign supported by the smart use of cutting-edge data and organizing technology, and a volunteer organizing program to promote a complete count in each of the city's 245 neighborhoods; (3) an innovative, multilingual, tailored messaging and marketing campaign, including a $3 million commitment to investing in community and ethnic media to reach every New York City community; as well as (4) an in-depth Agency and Partnerships engagement plan that seeks to leverage the power of the City's 350,000-strong workforce and the city's major institutions, including libraries, hospitals, faith-based communities, cultural institutions, higher educational institutions, and more, to communicate with New Yorkers about the critical importance of census participation. Through close partnerships with trusted leaders and organizations across the five boroughs, this unprecedented campaign represents the largest municipal investment in census organizing nationwide and will build an enduring structure that empowers New Yorkers to remain civically engaged.