Texting Out The Count: NYC Census 2020 to Mobilize Hundreds of New Yorkers to Boost Census Participation

NEW YORK -- As part of ongoing efforts to pivot census outreach and engagement strategies in response to the significant challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19, NYC Census 2020 (Mayor’s Office of the Census) is holding its second citywide “Text Out The Count” mobilization on Thursday, April 23 to boost census participation across the city.

The effort will have a special focus on neighborhoods with lower census self-response rates. For example, Queens Complete Count Committee members will specifically focus on northwest Queens (North Corona, East Elmhurst), south Queens (Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park), and southeast Queens (South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens), as well as Far Rockaway.

Participants will use the peer-to-peer texting tool Hustle to reach tens of thousands of their fellow New Yorkers and remind them about the critical importance of participating in the 2020 Census. Last month's volunteer-driven Text Out the Count event reached close to a million New Yorkers, with more than 35,000 confirming that they had completed the census. 

In light of COVID-19, NYC Census 2020 quickly changed its census outreach to reach New Yorkers remotely by clawing back investments in subway advertisements, shifting more resources to TV, foreign language radio and digital advertising and embarking on March 22 and 23 on the first ever city wide peer to peer textathon.


  • Citywide "Text Out the Count" digital organizing operation using the peer-to-peer texting service Hustle, focused on raising awareness about the importance of completing the 2020 Census online or via phone.


  • Currently 700 individuals have signed up for shifts. This includes representatives from, and volunteers with: 
    • NYC Census 2020's 157 Complete Count Fund Awardees
    • NYC Census 2020's 15 Citywide Partner organizations 
    • Offices of elected officials, community organizations, labor unions, and NYC Census 2020's Neighborhood Organizing Census Committees.

When: Thursday, April 23

Where: New Yorkers can participate from anywhere, including from the comfort of their own homes.

Additional Information: 

The more New Yorkers who fill out the census, the more money the city receives for public education, healthcare, housing, roads and bridges, and so much more. The census also leads to direct investments in New York City’s health care system. For example, census data determines allocations for funding for CHIP and hospitals. What’s more, it’s how public health officials get the foundational data that public health experts use to plan for and manage situations like COVID-19. 

This year, the census is online or via phone for the first time, and NYC Census 2020 encourages all New Yorkers to take the census right away by visiting my2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020 (English). From March 12 until August, the census will be primarily conducted online and via phone.