PSA to run online and on television in March as part of New York City's $8 million investment in census-related advertising
English and Spanish versions of PSA emphasize NO citizenship question on form, safety of information provided to U.S. Census Bureau
PSA to be subtitled in ten additional languages in order to reach multilingual populations
February 27, 2020
NEW YORK—Today, NYC Census 2020 released a public service announcement (PSA) featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda urging New Yorkers to participate in the 2020 Census. The advertisement will run online and on local television stations during the critical self-response period of the census starting in mid-March.
"We know to truly reach New Yorkers, they need to hear from trusted voices that represent their communities," said Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census 2020, a $40 million initiative established by the de Blasio administration and the City Council to boost census participation among New Yorkers. "Both Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Lin-Manuel are homegrown stars whose voices and activism have inspired action in their communities. With two weeks until New Yorkers begin completing the census, this PSA will help get the word out to communities across New York, especially those in historically undercounted communities."
The PSA features Rep. Ocasio-Cortez teaching students about the census with the help of guest student, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The video emphasizes that the census is for everyone, regardless of immigration status, and that information provided to the U.S. Census Bureau is protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone, including law enforcement agencies. These core messages are key to NYC Census 2020's efforts to historically undercounted communities who have also been impacted by the chilling effect resulting from the Trump administration's failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the census form.
The ad, shot in both English and Spanish, will also be translated into ten additional languages, including Albanian, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu, Polish, Russian, and Tibetan. These languages are among the most common languages spoken by limited English proficiency (LEP) New Yorkers and represent some of the city's historically undercounted communities.
A 60-second version of the video was released on Twitter on Thursday, February 27 by the congresswoman, Miranda, and Menin.
The students featured in the PSA are City University of New York (CUNY) students and members of the CUNY Census Corps, a University-wide program supporting New York's 2020 Census campaign. The CUNY Census Corps has mobilized over 200 students, who speak 44 languages, to go out to hard-to-count communities to educate, engage and mobilize people to complete the census.
The advertisement marks the first release of creative content as part of New York City's landmark $8 million census advertising campaign. Of that $8 million budget, NYC Census 2020 is investing $3 million in ethnic and community media to reach historically undercounted populations.
Resources for New York City families and communities depend on a complete count of the City's residents. The census determines New York City's fair share of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds that support public education, public housing, roads and bridges, and more. The census also determines the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives, and thus the Electoral College.
The advertisement was produced by Next Millennium Productions, a New York City-based MWBE production company which has worked on other City initiatives including IDNYC. It was written in-house by NYC Census 2020 staff. The spot will air on television stations that New Yorkers use for news and entertainment beginning in mid-to-late March and will be used in digital advertising throughout the month of March.
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.