BROOKLYN – There are exactly nine days left to submit the 2020 census! Have you filled yours out yet?
Brooklyn is in danger of being undercounted yet again, and the consequences will be significant for the next ten years. Federal funds for things like public education, affordable housing, infrastructure will be allocated based on who gets counted, and we may end up losing more than one Congressional seat. As of this point, NY is not even in the top five states with the highest total response rates; it’s at number 30. The self-response rate for NY is currently at 63.1%. Brooklyn is lagging with a self-response rate of 57.3%.
“We have eight days left to make Brooklyn and New York City count. The stakes could not be higher. An undercount will mean a loss of political representation and federal resources at a time when we can least afford it,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told Bklyner. “I urge those who have not yet filled out their Census to do so as soon as possible. It is an act of civic altruism to your neighbors and your community.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has also been urging New Yorkers to complete the census. At this point, census takers have been going to door giving collecting responses from people who have yet to fill it out.
“The blunt truth is we have a problem when it comes to the census countdown, we are running out of time and we’ve got a response rate that is too low,” de Blasio said earlier this month. “That is not where we need to be. And, again, I understand everyone’s lives have been put through so much, people are dealing with so many things, but it literally only takes a few minutes to fill out the census form and it makes a huge difference for our city.”
We have been reporting (and reminding our readers) the importance of the census for months now. It is even more crucial that Brooklyn gets counted, especially since it had the hardest hitting neighborhoods by the coronavirus. As we wrote back in April, “It’s crucial that New York City, the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic get all the federal money it can in order to help us recover, and U.S. Census data is used to decide how federal funding gets split up and how many House seats Brooklyn will get. The fewer people who respond, the more likely our borough is to get short-changed in the future, and that our local economy will be unable to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
You can view some common questions and answers regarding the census here. If you have yet to complete it, you can do so via online, by phone, or by mail. If you choose to do it online, it must be completed in one sitting. To do it online, click here. It will ask you for a census ID, which you can add-in. If you don’t have one or lost it, you are able to click the option below and begin the census.