Astorians vanish according to Census

Michael Gianaris

March 31, 2011

Queens Chronicle wrote about the inaccurate census numbers. We deserve answers on how this under-count happened. I, along with my colleagues from Queens, have called for a federal investigation into the US Census Bureau.

“I guess I spent five years rezoning Astoria to stop the overdevelopment of empty buildings,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), upon learning that Census data released last week showed the area had lost 10,329 people — the sharpest decline reported in any New York city neighborhood.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) who has lived in Astoria for 40 years, said he had never seen the neighborhood decline in popularity, and certainly not in the last decade. “People are moving in by the bus load. The notion that vacancy has increased is ludicrous.”

While New York is still the largest city in the United States, clocking in at 8.2 million according to the Census, Gianaris worries that if all residents were not counted, the city and the borough will not receive a fare share of federal funding. Subways that are already overcrowded may become impossible to navigate. Roadways used by millions of people may be left in disrepair without federal funds. “Just because we will be getting more than other cities, doesn’t mean we will be getting the right amount,” Gianaris said.

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