‘Count Me In’ to Make Sure Our Community Gets its Fair Share
September 4, 2009
(Albany, New York)-The 2010 federal census gets underway in less than six months, and one of the first major planning efforts has just been completed. Hundreds of census workers have covered every street in New York, making sure the Census Bureau has the correct address for each and every household and residence in the state.
Based on this survey, the Census Bureau will add, update or delete addresses on its master census list. Accurate address lists are critical in order for the Census Bureau to mail out census questionnaires next March.
“New schools, hospitals, roads all depend on census data for full government support and funding. We must make sure our community’s population is accurately counted. Our future depends on it,” said Senator Neil D. Breslin (D-Delmar). “The Census Bureau has taken the first step in assuring we have accurate address lists for census-taking. Next, it’s up to our residents to insure that census forms are completed on census Day, April 1, 2010.”
The 2000 census failed to count a large number of people who live in New York. Undercounts mean the potential 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.
Community groups in neighborhoods across the state have formed Census 2010 “Complete Count Committees.” They want neighbors to understand their privacy is protected in the census and are working to make certain everyone is counted in the upcoming 2010 census.
Next March, a form to determine how many people live at each address will be mailed to each address. Beginning in May 2010, census workers will visit households that did not mail back the form. In the last census, only about 70.2% of questionnaires in Albany county (46th Senate District) were mailed back. An accurate count depends on people returning the form.
“Our community has to receive its fair share. Each one of us can make a difference. When you see a census form in the mail next March, fill it out and return it. And let your neighbors know they should, too,” said Senator Neil D. Breslin. “We also want to remind our neighbors their privacy will be protected. It doesn’t matter if you are not a citizen, or if you have someone living with you the landlord doesn’t know about - the census is prevented by law from sharing that information.”