Count Me In - Make Sure Our Community Gets its Fair Share

October 12, 2009

State Senate Web Site Boosts Local Census Efforts

Count Me In - that’s the message from the New York State Senate web site launching Monday to tout the upcoming 2010 Census. The site supports efforts underway across the state to help ensure all New Yorkers will be counted.

Visitors to will find answers about the census, and can offer their ideas on how to encourage more people to participate.

The census is a headcount of every person living in the United States mandated by the U.S. Constitution.  It’s carried out every ten years and is used to determine representation in Congress as well as federal aid to local and state government programs and operations.

“Each one of us will make a difference in the census.  The New York State Senate is working with local, state and federal leaders to make sure everyone is counted so our communities receive their fair share. When the census form arrives in the mail next March, fill it out and return it.  It’s safe, it’s quick, and you will be helping yourself and the entire community, “ said Senator John Sampson, Majority Conference Leader.

“It’s important for people to understand that our schools, hospitals, and transportation depend on funding determined by the information gathered in the census.  That’s why we must make sure our state’s population is accurately counted.  Our future depends on it,” said Senator Malcolm Smith, Senate President Pro Tem. “The Census Bureau will be mailing census questionnaires to every household in March. It’s up to us to fill out the forms and mail them back.”
"Important decisions in the areas of jobs, economic development, affordable housing projects and health care and education services are determined by census data. Therefore, it is imperative that we achieve an accurate census count. If our communities are not counted, we will not receive our fair share commensurate to the taxes we pay," said Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., Senate Majority Leader.
“The Census is crucially important to our efforts for more responsive, efficient government.   The New York Senate is working hard to ensure that the 2010 Census delivers an accurate count of everyone in the state so we can better serve all New Yorkers,” said Senator Jeff Klein, Deputy Majority Leader.
The 2000 Census failed to count hundreds of thousands of people living in New York.  Undercounts mean the loss of millions of dollars in federal, state and local funding and services from programs driven by population counts. 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.

Senators are working directly with community leaders setting up “Complete Count Committees” to ensure all neighborhood residents are counted in the upcoming 2010 census.  Senate research has mapped neighborhoods and even specific blocks where large numbers of people were passed over in previous census counts.

The law prevents the census from sharing personal information with law enforcement, immigration, welfare or any government agency. Completing a census form does not increase your chances of being picked for jury duty. It is completely confidential.

Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household in March 2010.  Census workers will only visit households that do not mail back the form.