Dec. 13, 2019 By Michael Dorgan
A number of Queens-based groups will receive funding from a new $19 million community awards program that focuses on census-related education and organizing.
NYC Complete Count Fund is designed to help over 150 community organizations across the five boroughs build awareness about the 2020 census.
Chhaya CDC, the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, DRUM, HANAC Inc., Jacob A, Riis Neighborhood Settlement, Queens Community House, Woodside on the Move, Sunnyside Community Services and Make the Road New York are among the Queens groups that will receive awards ranging from $15,000 to $250,000.
Organizations will be required to both expand capacity and engage in direct mobilization around the census from January through June of 2020.
The joint investment by the de Blasio administration and City Council represents the lion’s share of the city’s $40 million census mobilization fund – the largest investment by any city, and larger than those made by most states
Conducted every 10 years, the census is used to determine New York City’s share of $650 billion in federal funds for public education, public housing, representation in Congress, electoral votes, and more.
“We will fight the fear and disinformation by those forces that want to rob us of the resources and representation that are rightfully ours by investing in community-based organizing, a model we know that works,” de Blasio said.
“Neighbors will empower neighbors to stand up and be counted. New York City will not be intimidated.”
In the 2010 Census, the city’s initial self-response rate was just 61.9 percent, compared to the national average of approximately 76 percent.
“Having seen a ‘loss’ of more than 10,000 western Queens residents in the last census, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get yourself counted,” Astoria Council member Costa Constantinides said.
“Community-based organizations are New York City’s first responders, who ensure everyone is protected, accounted for, and served.”
Based on five-year data collected by the American Community Survey through 2017, New York City is at risk of being undercounted again in 2020.
Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau is estimating that the national 2020 initial self-response rate will only be 60.5 percent.
“Based on data collected during the 2010 census, over two-thirds of the people in our district live in hard-to-count neighborhoods,” state Senator Jessica Ramos said.
“It is among my top priorities to make sure our hardworking neighbors are properly accounted for during the 2020 census so that we can provide the infrastructure, programs and resources Queens residents of all ages currently need and will benefit from in the future.”