Monday, March 15, 2010

Senator Gillibrand Shows Off Ease of Census

Be counted in New York for the Census
Published: Monday, March 15, 2010 6:05 PM EDT

As Census 2010 forms arrive in the mailboxes of New York City residents this week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a coalition of advocacy groups and the U.S. Census Bureau urged all New Yorkers to participate in this year’s census.

At the event hosted and organized by Lillian Rodríguez-López at the office of the Hispanic Federation, Senator Gillibrand showed just how safe, easy, and fast it is to fill out and return the questionnaire. The senator also announced that her offices across New York will hold “Be Counted” Centers to help guide constituents through the process.

“This week households across New York State will be receiving one of the most important documents they will be given this decade: the 2010 Census Questionnaire Form. We thank Senator Gillibrand for drawing much needed attention to how easy, safe and critically important census participation is for Latinos and all New Yorkers,” said Lillian Rodríguez-López, president of the Hispanic Federation.

New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez said, “The census is safe; it’s easy, as it only takes a few minutes to answer and return; and it’s important, as census data affects funding and political representation for our community.

“Given the extraordinary economic challenges facing our families and communities right now, the stakes for an accurate count have never been greater – especially for Latinos and other groups who have traditionally been undercounted in the Census.An accurate count will insure our state receives much needed federal funding for social services and infrastructure improvements.”

Senator Gillibrand said, “The census is a win win for everyone – and it’s safe, easy and fast to fill out. It is critical that we capture a true picture of New York’s families and neighborhoods to ensure their access to needed resources. Participation in Census 2010 by all New Yorkers is critical to ensuring our fair share of federal resources.”

When the Census was last conducted in 2000, only 55 percent of New York City residents mailed in their surveys – far below the national average of 67 percent. Three of the city’s boroughs – Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens – were ranked among the worst counted places in the country.

Census data, collected once every 10 years, guides decision makers on where to build new schools, health clinics, child care and senior centers and much more. The data also determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. Since the federal government uses census information every year to distribute critically needed funds for programs such as hospitals and school services, clean streets, public housing, social services, and food stamps, undercounting has resulted in city neighborhoods losing hundreds of millions of federal dollars over the last decade.
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