With the 2020 Census now just over a year away, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced Friday the first 70 appointees to her Queens Complete Count Committee (Queens CCC).
First announced in her 2018 State of the Borough address, the Queens CCC will bring together trusted community leaders and activists to learn about key 2020 Census issues, report back to their diverse communities and strategize how to ensure everyone in the borough is counted accurately.
“From federal funding to representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, so much is at stake with the 2020 Census,” Katz said. “That’s why we need to be as prepared as possible to ensure every Queens resident is counted accurately, as an undercount would have negative impacts across our borough for at least the next decade. The challenges Queens faces are significant, but I am confident these civic-minded community partners will help ensure the borough is counted completely and fairly.”
The 2020 Census presents new challenges, including 80 percent of respondents being asked to complete their Census form online, making the Queens CCC’s work even more vital.
The federal government also announced last year its intention to add a citizenship question to the Census, which has raised concerns about the possibility of substantial undercounts in communities where residents fear being targeted over their immigration or residency status. On Jan. 15, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled the federal government’s attempt to add the question is unlawful.
Katz applauded the ruling in a statement issued that afternoon.
“The legal battle is likely far from over, and Queens will continue to speak out against the proposed Census citizenship question for as long as their is active litigation,” Katz said in the statement. “But today’s court ruling is a tremendous victory in the fight against a reckless policy targeting our thriving immigrant communities in Queens and across the country. Including a citizenship question would undermine the the goal of the Census: a complete count of all persons living in the United States. Here in Queens, a borough of nearly 2.4 million people of all races, ethnicities and faiths, an undercount would lead to fewers federal dollars for countless vital programs and initiatives.”
Among the 70 individuals appointed to the QCCC includes Community Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri, YMCA New American Initiative’s Lorna Blancaflor, Greater Springfield Community Church Pastor Phillip Craig,East Elmhurst Corona Civic Association’s Larinda Hooks and Make the Road New York’s Theo Oshiro.
A second round of appointment to the QCCC will be conducted later this year.