By Dan Rivoli
March 19, 2010
State Sen. Tom Duane is up for reelection this year and recorded a robo-call to reach his constituents. But with no challenger, Duane decided to promote the 2010 Census instead of stump for his campaign.
In the past several weeks, New Yorkers have been inundated with advertising and news stories that promote filling out census forms when they arrive in the mail. People’s responses will determine the country’s population for the next decade and influences political districts and government funding.
“I do think that that I have a very civically engaged district,” Duane said. “However, I also think that people get a lot of mail; one of my purposes was [getting people to] not put this piece of mail to the side but actually make it a prominent task to fill it out.”
The 38-second ad, which cost Duane’s campaign account $6,200, was sent to approximately 98,000 homes in the district, which covers the Upper West Side up to West 86th Street, Chelsea, the West Village and Stuyvesant Town on the East Side.
Duane explained that in the 2000 census, those in his current district had a low return of census forms, falling below the national and state average.
“I want to make sure I did everything I possibly could to get the highest number of respondents,” Duane said.
Read the script of the ad:
“This is State Senator Tom Duane with an important message about the Census. This week, your household will receive a ten-question United States Census form. I urge you to complete the form to ensure that we receive our share of federal funds for hospitals, schools, transportation and social services. For each person counted, our city and state will receive almost $30,000 dollars over the next decade. It’s up to each of us to make sure our community counts. Again, this is Senator Tom Duane encouraging you to join me and fill out your census form. Thank you.”
Listen to the ad here.