October 30, 2018. 

In a new report, the Fiscal Policy Insititute details the resources community-based groups will require to maximize participation in the 2020 Census among “hard to count” residents across New York State. FPI proposes that the governor and legislature include $40 million in next year’s state budget for community-based organizations to do outreach around the 2020 Census. FPI notes that this should be in addition to whatever funds the state commits to its own outreach and media campaigns and funding to local governments. The study was first unveiled at a press conference Monday with the New York Counts 2020 Coalition.

The report notes that community-based organizations must play a big role in maximizing the participation of New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. This is the first year in which the Census Bureau asks residents to fill out Census forms online, raising issues about broadband access as well as comfort level with computers. There may be a controversial question added about the citizenship status of immigrants. And, a number of people are feeling hesitant about giving private information to the federal government.

The report includes a county-by-county breakdown of funding needs, and includes a survey of 32 community-based groups about their census outreach plans and needs. It recommends three levels of outreach: basic to all “hard to count” groups in the state, moderate to 10 percent of the hard to reach, and intensive to five percent of the hard to reach.

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