In September, NYC Census 2020 — along with our partners the New York City Council and the City University of New York — announced that we were accepting applications for the unprecedented $19 million NYC Complete Count Fund. The fund is a first-of-its-kind community awards program focused on census-related education and organizing across all five boroughs. This investment surpasses all census education and mobilization investments made by any city nationwide.
On December 9, we announced more than 150 awardees of the Complete Count Fund. The awardees, which serve New Yorkers in over 80 languages, represent the city’s vast geographic and demographic diversity and include organizations ranging from social service organizations, to arts and culture organizations, to advocacy and organizing groups, and many more.
With deep ties to their communities, these organizations are uniquely positioned to fight the spread of disinformation, convey the importance of the census, and help bridge the digital divide that might prevent New Yorkers from participating in the first online census. Here is a snapshot of the Complete Count Fund awardees:
• Allen A.M.E. Neighborhood Preservation and Development Corporation — a community organization that works primarily with African-American and Afro-Caribbean communities to conduct job fairs, mortgage workshops, career forums, financial workshops, and more — will conduct educational meetings, information sessions, volunteer recruitment drives, street outreach, hold community meetings, and mount informational campaigns to churches and community centers, as well as conduct outreach to local merchants.
• Sure We Can — a citywide organization that works with over 7,000 people who earn their living collecting and redeeming deposit-marked cans — will build mobile pop-up carts to reach their highly mobile community, address linguistic and cultural barriers to census participation through one-on-one outreach to members, and train canners to be Census Ambassadors in their home communities.
• VOCAL-NY — a grassroots membership organization that builds power among low-income New Yorkers who face unique and significant challenges based on involvement with the criminal justice system, poverty and homelessness, and lack of sufficient healthcare access, VOCAL plans to use its CCF award to help staff a field operation, including a citywide canvass of methadone clinics, syringe exchanges, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters, to ensure awareness of, and participation in, the census.
• Digital Girl, Inc. — a Brooklyn-based organization that empowers underserved youth, especially young girls, to pursue studies and careers in STEM disciplines — will focus on intergenerational work, engaging parents and grandparents of program participants about the census.
• Boro Park Jewish Community Council — Serving the Ultra-Orthodox community in Borough Park, which is a community that also had one of the city’s lowest self-response rates in 2010, the Boro Park Jewish Community Council provides adult literacy training, workforce development, career counseling, immigration assistance, and healthcare assistance to Borough Park residents. As part of its CCF grant, the Boro Park JCC will work closely with local synagogues and yeshivas to raise awareness about the census, and help residents, particularly those lacking regular broadband access, participate in the census.
• Chhaya CDC — a Jackson Heights- and Richmond Hill-based organization that provides free tax preparation, homebuyer education, naturalization services and housing counseling to low- to moderate-income South Asian and Indo-Caribbean populations in Queens — will be using their robust language capacity and a history of census engagement work to reach their community.