With the 2020 Census underway, Councilwoman Adrienne Adams is continuing her partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and Chhaya Community Development Corporation to ensure that all Queens residents are counted in the decennial Census.
On July 9, Adams and Chhaya CDC, an organization that addresses housing and economic needs for low-income South Asian and Indo-Caribbean New Yorkers, hosted a “Day of Action” event at the corner of Lefferts Avenue and Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, educating and encouraging the hardest-to-count communities in Queens to participate in the Census.
“This pandemic has brought into full light the inequities in our current system. Getting our community members counted will determine their fate in government expenditures and decision making for the next decade and beyond,” said Annetta Seecharran, executive director of Chhaya CDC.
The campaign helped residents obtain information and receive on-site support to complete the 2020 Census. It included a multilingual and multi-targeted approach to reach out to all residents including non-English speakers and people with limited internet access.
The effort reinforced how the Census impacts federal funding for vital services to states based on response rates and reminded those completing the forms that responses are kept confidential.
“It is critical that every New Yorker is counted. Every response directly impacts the services that our communities receive and I want the people of Queens to know that this process is important, easy and safe, but will also shape their future,” Adams said. “A successful Census must be our top priority so that we receive the federal funding that we deserve.”
The 2020 Census is the first to rely heavily on online responses in light of COVID-19 concerns.
As of July 13, 53.3 percent of Queens residents have responded to the Census, according to the Census 2020 HTC Map. If an average of about 5.7 households per day in each tract in the county fill out the census between now and July 31, Queens will reach its final 2010 self-response rate of 60.8 percent — an average increase of only 0.46 percentage points per day.
About a total of 487,850 households across the county have already responded to the census.
Jeff Behler, regional director of the U.S. Census Bureau, said it’s important to remember that the 2020 Census is “safe, easy and important.”
“Census data is critical for public services like healthcare clinics, emergency response preparedness and education programs,” Behler said. “The 2020 Census is your census — the future of your community depends on your and your community’s responses. Encourage response now and lead your community to self-respond at 2020census.gov.”