With counting for the 2020 Census set to get underway in mid-March, Borough Hall in Kew Gardens will open an information center to help get a strong count.
The 2020 Census Resource Center will open to the public on March 5 through July 31, offering Queens residents the ability to access Census outreach materials, ask questions of trained volunteers and apply for 2020 Census-related jobs.
Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee also continues to accept applications from non-for-profits interested in receiving state funding for Census outreach efforts in Queens. Electronic devices will be available at the center for residents to fill out the nine-question Census from online forms upon its launch on March 12, while U.S. Census Bureau resources in more than a dozen languages will be available for visitors to take home and distribute to family, friends, and neighbors. No appointments are necessary and walk-ins are welcome.
“It’s all hands on deck for the 2020 Census,” Lee said. “We must ensure every single Queens resident, of every age and regardless of documentation status, is counted. When we are not counted, we are rendered invisible and irrelevant for our fair share of federal representation and funding. An undercount is something the Borough of Families simply cannot afford. The future of our county, city and state depend on a full and accurate 2020 Census count.”
A controversial citizenship question will not be on the 2020 Census, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year to block such a question from being included. Documentation status will have no bearing on any resident’s ability to fully complete and submit a Census questionnaire.
To prevent a repeat of the substantial undercounts in various Queens neighborhoods during the 2010 Census, which dubiously reported the borough’s population rose by only 1,300 people over the prior decade, then-Borough President Melinda Katz first hosted a Census Town Hall in Nov. 2018 to propel public discourse and engagement for the 2020 Census. The census determines the borough’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as how much federal funding Queens receives for schools, roads and bridges, health services and more.