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Cuomo kicks off 'Census Push Week' to make sure every New Yorker is counted in upcoming census

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Tue, Jul 28th 2020 01:20 pm

Office for New Americans will host census hotline phone bank event Aug. 5-6 to provide information and answer questions about the census

Census can be filled out by mail, over phone or online; more information available here

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday kicked off the state's “Census Push Week,” urging New Yorkers to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census before the Oct. 31 deadline – and to make sure every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming census.

"The census gives New Yorkers the chance to profoundly affect our state's future and, since federal funding and representation in Congress are determined by the census count, it's absolutely critical that every New Yorker is counted and that residents are informed that census responses – regardless of the respondents' immigration or citizenship status – are confidential, safe and secure," Cuomo said. "There's no doubt that COVID-19 has presented unprecedented obstacles to completing the census. However, the pandemic also highlights a key reason why the census is so vital: New York state continues to seek substantial funding and aid from the federal government. I urge every New Yorker to complete the census, and remember, New York state can help if you encounter any issues along the way."

As part of “Census Push Week,” the Office for New Americans is hosting a census hotline phone bank event from 2-4 p.m. Aug. 5-6 to provide information and answer questions about the census. The hotline phone bank event will be primarily Spanish-language, with full multi-language access available for all callers. ONA is partnering with El Diario and Telemundo to help promote the phone bank and increase participation of the Latino community.

State agencies are continuing outreach activities to encourage New Yorkers to fill out the census, including:

√ MTA is distributing census information across more than 5,434 digital screens in its system, including stations and transit vehicles.

√ The Department of State is training its network of community action agencies, which promote services that combat poverty, to raise awareness of the census. In addition, the DOS Division of Licensing Services, which interacts with more than 800,000 New Yorkers in 39 occupations, is promoting the census through its customer service phone line.

√ The Department of Financial Services is delivering awareness messages and coordinating their use among the community banks, banks in underbanked areas, check cashers, and money transmission officers, among other entities licensed by the agency.

√ Empire State Development is promoting the census with and distributing materials to the REDCs and their members, welcome centers and other ESD facilities, among other activities.

√ State agencies are also continuing their coordinated effort across social media platforms to amplify the need for all New Yorkers to participate in the census. The effort is being conducted in partnership with New York Counts 2020, a statewide coalition focused on maximizing participation in the 2020 census.

The governor announced the state is working with ABNY to promote “Friends and Family Day” on Thursday, July 30, and “Take 10 Minutes at 10” on Aug. 10 to help generate participation in the census. As part of “Friends and Family Day,” the state will use social media to call on New Yorkers to text or call 10 people and remind them to complete the census. The “10 Minutes at 10” push encourages businesses, unions and organizations to have their employees complete the census on Aug. 10.

Patrick J. Foye, chairman and CEO of the MTA, said, "The MTA is using thousands of digital screens in stations, in subway and commuter train cars, and on buses to relentlessly urge New Yorkers to fill out the census. Implications of participating in the census are particularly timely as we fight for federal financial support for mass transit. With the historic challenges we are facing, now would be the worst possible time to lose representation in Washington."

New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "It has never been more important for all New Yorkers to complete the census, and we want to make sure every single person living in New York state is counted. Completing the census is safe and easy, and the information you provide is confidential. New York is helping to ensure every single New Yorker, regardless of citizenship status, is counted and New York gets its fair share of funding for critical services such as health care, education and emergency services."

Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell said, "I urge all New Yorkers to complete the 2020 census so that our communities receive their fair share of federal funding for essential services like health care, emergency planning and economic development – as the pandemic has shown the critical need of these resources. The census is accessible for completion online, by phone or by mail, and the information collected is kept strictly confidential. Every New Yorker – regardless of citizenship status – deserves to be represented. This is one thing you can do to make a difference."

ESD Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Making sure every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming census is essential so that every community gets its fair share of funding for schools, hospitals, roads and bridges and many other important services and programs."

The state has been focused on raising awareness for the census for the past two years, including with the launch of the Complete Count Commission, which held a series of 12 public hearings and roundtables across the state last year, raising awareness in the process, and produced a report outlining the steps forward to reach, in particular, the hardest to count communities.

Using the commission's report as a guideline, the state developed plans for a campaign that included direct outreach to hard-to-count communities and leveraged the resources of nearly every state agency. In January, the governor officially kicked off a campaign to raise census awareness, hosting the state's first census conference where community stakeholders met with administration officials to learn how they could partner with the state to support a complete count.

A few weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the state, making it dangerous to undertake outreach and limiting the reach of state agencies. At the same time, the state's finances were disrupted by the pandemic as the state went from projecting a near 7% increase in revenue to a 14% decline, and the federal government has taken no action to help states offset this loss. Recognizing these difficulties across the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau delayed the census filing deadline to the end of October from July.

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