Skip to main content

Communities must stand up and be counted

November 29, 2019 05:34 pm

In a recent statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asserted that counting every New Yorker in the 2020 Census is critical to ensuring we are accurately represented in Congress and receive the federal funding we deserve.

His assertion has merit. As Cuomo noted last week, the federal government has thrown up roadblock after roadblock — spreading fear among immigrant communities in the process. But immigrant communities are not alone. Students, senior citizens and the residents of small, rural towns and villages are also in the crosshairs.

This is frustrating, because as the rollout of the survey approaches, states and municipalities are committing their own resources to ensure their communities are not undercounted, and that will be no easy feat.

So a tip of the hat to Cuomo, who knows hundreds of billions of dollars in aid, representation in Congress and resources that can improve daily quality of life are at stake; to Capital District Latinos Chairman Dan Irizarry, who calls the communities part of a civics lesson in how to articulate the importance of the 2020 Census in daily life for the next decade; and to municipalities and organizations in the Hudson Valley, Western New York and the North Country mobilizing and marshalling their own resources to encourage hard-to-reach communities — ranging from immigrants to students, senior citizens and even Amish communities — to participate in the 2020 Census and reap the benefits of the resources at stake.

The message that must break through is that 100% participation in the 2020 Census in New York will make sure that even our most difficult-to-reach communities are counted.