NYC Census 2020 Launches "Calling All Queens: Get Out the LGBTQIA Count" to Mobilize New Yorkers to Respond to the 2020 Census

Contest focuses on mobilizing census response from LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers, as well as those in Queens neighborhoods with current self-response rates of under 55%.

Queens, N.Y. – On Tuesday, September 22 at noon, NYC Census 2020 will host a press conference with city and elected officials, major citywide community advocates, and some of New York’s most beloved drag queens at Queens Borough Hall, each representing one of the five boroughs, to launch “Calling All Queens: Get out the LGBTQIA+ Count,” a competition to mobilize New Yorkers, especially those who are LGBTQIA+ and live in Queens neighborhoods with low self-response rates, to respond to the 2020 Census, which ends on September 30th.

From Wednesday, September 23 to Wednesday, September 30, five New York City drag queens will use creative calls to action on social media to get out the count in their respective boroughs. The winner will be from the borough with the highest self-response increase over the week and will be “crowned” the “Census Queen” on Thursday, October 1.

Headlining Entities:
NYC Census 2020 (Mayor’s Office of the Census): Director Julie Menin and Deputy Director Amit S. Bagga
Office of the Queens Borough President: Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs: Commissioner Bitta Mostofi
New York Immigration Coalition: Meeta Anand, Facilitator and Convenor of NY Counts 2020

The “Queens in Queens”:
Audrey Phoenix: representing Queens
Godiva Romance: representing The Bronx
Britney Virazzano: representing Staten Island
Other Queens competing in the contest, but not in attendance, are Ruby Roo for Brooklyn and Pixie Aventura for Manhattan

Elected Officials
State Senator Jessica Ramos
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
Katherine Mooney, Deputy Chief of Staff & Budget Director, the office of Council Member Adrienne Adams

What: “Calling All Queens: Get out the LGBTQIA+ Count”
Who: City officials, elected officials, advocates, and the “Queens in Queens”
When: Tuesday, September 22 at Noon
Where: Queens Borough Hall: 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11424

As of September 18, New York City’s self-response rate is 60%. While this represents a significant closure of the gap between New York City and the nation as compared to 2010, (just below 6 percentage points now vs. 14 percentage points in 2010), many communities in New York City, including immigrant-rich neighborhoods in Queens, are still lagging, and Tuesday’s event is part of a two-week program across the five boroughs to ensure all New Yorkers are counted. Currently, the neighborhoods of Arverne, Breezy Point, East Elmhurst, Far Rockaway, Hollis, Jamaica, North Corona, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Rockaway Park, Rosedale, South Jamaica, South Ozone Park, and Ozone Park are below 55 percent in terms of self-response.

This year's census will also be the first time in history that same-sex households will be counted. It is deeply unacceptable that the census does not offer gender responses beyond the male/female binary. However, it is important to note that the Census Bureau will accept forms in which the gender question is skipped.

Even though the census does not represent the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community’s lives and experiences, the community must receive its fair share. Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line, including funds for many programs that directly support the LGBTQ+ community, like jobs programs, housing, education, senior centers, and HIV-prevention programs.

About NYC Census 2020

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.