With President Trump cutting the census count by one month to depress responses among Black, Brown and immigrant communities, NYC Census 2020 and communities across the city fight back and mobilize to obtain a complete count
New York — Today, Monday, August 31, marks 30 days before the end of the 2020 Census. Without a complete census count, New York City is set to potentially lose billions for COVID-19 relief and up to two seats in Congress and the Electoral College, which decides the Presidency. NYC Census Director Julie Menin and Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department released the following statement:
"Time is running out for New Yorkers to complete the 2020 Census. As of today, we have just 30 days left to be counted because Donald Trump, in an attempt to steal the census and the money and power that it brings, cut the census by a month. Over the next month, we will wage a campaign that uses every tool at our disposal including neighborhood challenges, major contests that feature prizes from Seamless, the Museum of Modern Art, Citi Bike, and Lyft, canvassing, census form assistance at food distribution sites, innovative advertising campaigns across TV and mobile, phone banking, and work with a coalition of community-based organizations, service providers, and major institutions like our libraries that are deeply trusted by communities across the City. We've reached the 25 mile-marker of the marathon and we are ready to sprint to the finish line, bringing every New Yorker with us."
New York City continues to close the gap between the city and the nation in terms of census self-response rates. As of August 27, New York City's self-response rate is 57.3%, and the nation's is 64.6%. In 2010, there was approximately a 14 point gap between New York City's census self-response rate and the nation's. Currently, in 2020, there is less than an eight-point gap. A recent study found that New York City's self-response rate increased the most out of any other city in the United States between May 4, 2020 and August 18, 2020.
The census is easy, safe, and confidential. The census is 10 simple questions that take less than 10 minutes to complete. All New Yorkers can easily self-respond now online at my2020census.gov or by phone at 1-844-330-2020. The census does not ask about immigration, citizenship, criminal history, or income. By law, all census responses are completely confidential and cannot be shared with anyone, including any immigration authorities, tax authorities, any law enforcement authorities, or even landlords. The penalties for breaking this law, Title XIII of the U.S. Code, are up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. This law has not been broken since it was passed in 1953.
Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting NRFU (Non-Response Follow-Up). NRFU is when census takers visit all the homes that have not yet completed the census. If you do not want a census taker knocking on your door, complete the census online or by phone right away. If you self-respond completely and accurately, it is unlikely that you will get a knock on your door during NRFU.
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.