New York Senate Launches Census 2010 Complete Count Committee to Remedy Shortfall in Federal Funding for Crucial Public Services
(New York, N.Y.) The New York Senate is joining businesses, faith leaders and community leaders across the state to make certain the upcoming Census 2010 counts every New Yorker. With 100 days remaining until “Census Day,” Senate leaders in conjunction with every member of the Majority Conference launched the New York Senate Census 2010 Complete Count Committee.
The New York Senate Census 2010 Complete Count Committee is just the latest in a series of Senate initiatives around Census 2010. The Senate and Assembly committed $2 million in resources to help ensure an accurate census count. In October, it launched the “Count Me In!” web site, www.nysenate.gov/census, with videos and other information on the importance of Census 2010. Each senator’s office is promoting the census through mailings, email blasts, and community meetings.
“Millions of dollars in state and federal funding for New York state depends on next year’s census,” said Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson. “Policymakers use census data to decide where to build schools, senior citizen centers, roads and hospitals. The New York Senate has partnered with community leaders throughout the state to ensure New York receives its fair share of resources and has every resident counted.”
“The future of neighborhoods and communities throughout the state depends on an accurate census count. In these difficult economic times, it is imperative that everyone is counted because the level of educational, transportation and health care services, as well as essential services such as police and fire, is based on census data. While the Senate is committed to every urban, rural and suburban home being counted in Census 2010, it is even more critical in low-income neighborhoods that every citizen is counted to insure the delivery of much-needed services to the poor, elderly and working families,” said Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. (D-Bronx, 33rd District).
“All of New York will benefit from the work of the NY Senate Complete Count Committee. Our communities, from Buffalo to Montauk, stand to gain resources and services by having a complete, accurate census count of every resident. Historically, New York State taxpayers have sent more money to Washington than we receive in return. A complete count of every New York resident will help redress this imbalance,” said Senate President Malcolm A. Smith.
For every New Yorker counted in the 2000 census, the federal government spends nearly $2,000 a year, providing the state with over $38.2 billion in federal program funding based on population numbers from census data.
But only about 6 out of ten New York residents statewide returned a census questionnaire in the 2000 census, below the national average. As a result, an estimated quarter million New Yorkers were not counted, and the state lost hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for crucial public services.
The NY Senate Census 2010 Complete Count Committee is committed to dispelling fears about the census that cause many people to not return their census questionnaire.
“One of the greatest tasks of the New York Senate Census 2010 Complete Count Committee is to dispel common misunderstandings about the census. People need to know that by law their information cannot be shared with any legal or government agency. It’s also important to understand that you will not be asked if you are a citizen or not. Your privacy is protected by law when you return a census form,” said Senator Martin Malave Dilan.
Senators are working with community groups and neighborhood leaders in their districts to establish complete count committees and encourage people to return the census questionnaire and be counted.
“I’m proud to be a partner with the Richmond Hill 2010 Census Complete Count Committee as they work to make sure Census 2010 counts everyone in Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and South Ozone Park. Many of the people living in our community have not been accurately counted in previous census surveys. Such low, inaccurate Census counts in our borough in 2000 resulted in lower per capita funding, as compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn, for vital services affecting all our residents who depend on libraries, schools, and hospitals,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo.
“The South East Queens 2010 Complete Count Committee is focused on increasing the census count in the communities of Jamaica, South Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, St. Albans, Richmond Hill, Rosedale, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven. Past census counts have missed many of our residents, and I am working with clergy and other community leaders to help everyone be counted this time around,” said Senator Shirley Huntley.
Senators John Sampson, Pedro Espada, Jr., Malcolm A. Smith, Martin Malave Dilan, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Brian X. Foley and David Valesky serve as chairs of the New York Senate Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. “It cannot be overemphasized how critical the 2010 Census is to our State’s well-being. We must make sure our community’s population is accurately counted,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx-Mt. Vernon). “The Senate is working hand-in-hand with our neighborhood leaders to ensure that everyone understands the importance of participating in this year’s Census. New York State’s residents deserve to receive their fair share of federal funding and we cannot unless everyone takes part in the Census.”
“Every Long Islander has the power to help improve our communities simply by being counted,” said Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point). “Making sure every single Long Islander participates in the 2010 Census will not only produce an accurate count, it will also help us maximize the resources we receive from federal and state government.”
“An accurate Census count is instrumental in deciding the level of funding available for schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects,” said Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida). “The Senate Complete Count Committee will assist in making sure everyone is counted in 2010 and that New York State receives the federal aid to which it is entitled.”
The census is conducted every ten years to count every person living in the United States. A short, simple questionnaire will be mailed to every address next March. They can be returned by mail or dropped off at a number of locations throughout the city. The Census Bureau will mail a second form to households that do not return the initial questionnaire. Census workers only visit residences that have not returned a census form.