Investing in census outreach pays off

April 23, 2019. This opinion piece was written by Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizens Union, details the importance of fully funding census outreach:

“A low count in New York City and state could cost us one or two representatives in Congress and billions of dollars in federal aid. The accuracy of the 2020 census is not a small matter.

The Trump administration is doing its best to ensure that states like New York wind up with an undercount. The Constitution requires that all residents be counted. Yet the administration added the citizenship question, which is sure to make immigrants—documented or not—less likely to complete their census forms. Immigrants make up about 22% of New York state’s population and about 37% of the city’s.

Making matters worse, federal funds have been eliminated for community-based outreach programs, which in the past have bolstered participation in the census.

According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, we need $40 million just for community outreach in New York to ensure an accurate count. Both the state Senate and Assembly included that amount in their proposed budget, but the final state budget included only $20 million.

Read the article.

Read FPI’s report.

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