Prepares for National Census Day with Officials and Community Groups in the Bronx
Encourages All New Yorkers to Complete and Return 2010 Census Forms
Governor David A. Paterson today filled out his 2010 census form and encouraged all New Yorkers to complete and return their forms by National Census Day on April 1. The Governor joined the U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Regional Director for New York, Ligia Jaquez, Secretary of State Lorraine A. Cortés-Vázquez, elected officials and community groups at the Bronx United for a Better Count rally, held to increase census participation.
“The census is a safe and critical tool for our democracy, providing the data that determine the resources our communities will receive. The information we gather every 10 years affects our schools, hospitals, roads and highways, and many other essential services that we rely on. That’s why I have filled out my 2010 census form – so that my family and I get counted,” Governor Paterson said. “We cannot meet New Yorkers’ needs without an accurate picture of our towns, cities and State. I encourage New Yorkers to participate in this often-overlooked civic duty. It’s time to get counted.”
Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez said: “I am encouraged that New Yorkers have begun sending back their census forms by the hundreds of thousands – but there is still a very long way to go. We need everyone to count to help our communities determine where to put schools, hospitals and roads – and to get our fair share of federal funding to help in developing these projects. Working together, we can ensure all New Yorkers are counted this time around.”
The census is a nationwide effort to count the more than 310 million people living in the United States – including the nearly 20 million residents of New York. The 2010 census forms were mailed in March and include just 10 questions that can be answered in less than 10 minutes. The responses are strictly confidential and protected by law. The Census Bureau cannot share any of the form data with any individual, government agency or private organization.
“The many census myths that have discouraged participation are designed to do just that: prevent people who need to get counted from doing so,” Governor Paterson added. “I want to make clear that the census responses will not be shared. The census is not a reason for government to step into your backyard; it’s a means to provide a growing and diverse nation with the resources it needs to thrive.”
The population data collected by the census will determine New York’s political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, the New York State Legislature and local governments. The census information will also determine how the federal government distributes more than $400 billion each year. The funding supports programs that include education, housing and community development, health care and transportation.
More than 200,000 New Yorkers were not counted in the 2000 Census, costing New York millions of dollars in federal aid. New York State had a 66 percent participation rate in the 2000 census, compared with 72 percent nationally. As of March 30, 2010, New York has a 45 percent participation rate, compared to 50 percent nationally. The Bronx is among the counties with a traditionally low participation rate. As of March 30, the Census Bureau had received forms from 36 percent of Bronx households.
Governor Paterson has made a complete and accurate census count a priority of his Administration. Last year, he signed Executive Order No. 30 to establish the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee to raise awareness of the census and maximize participation. In December, the Governor announced the award of $2 million in grants for community groups and local governments to complete outreach and education campaigns. In addition, he has directed State agencies to communicate with undercounted communities, including those in lower-income communities, the elderly and undocumented residents.
For more information about the 2010 census, click here.