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Metro Creative Connection

With less than 48 hours left, governor urges New Yorkers to complete US census

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Wed, Oct 14th 2020 08:05 pm

New Yorkers can still complete census from home in a few minutes: online, by phone or mail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday reminded all New Yorkers to complete the census. The census can be completed from home in less than 10 minutes online, by phone or mail. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the deadline to complete the census is 6 a.m. ET this Friday, Oct. 16.

"The census only happens once every 10 years and it's one of the most important ways New Yorkers can help ensure the state gets the representation and funding we need in Washington. This process profoundly affects our state's future, and I strongly urge every New Yorker to participate and do it now," Cuomo said. "As New York continues the fight for aid from the federal government to help us respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the time is now for New Yorkers to complete the census."

Once every decade, the nation conducts the census, which is a constitutionally mandated count of every American, regardless of their citizenship status. The decennial census is one of the nation's most important programs. New Yorkers' fair share of federal funds for programs essential to health care, education, emergency planning, housing, economic development and transportation, as well as congressional representation in Washington, all depends on an accurate and fully counted census response.

New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "I urge every New Yorker to take 10 minutes and complete the census immediately. Completing the census is safe and easy, and the information you provide is confidential. It has never been more important for all New Yorkers to complete the census to ensure New York gets it fair share of federal funding."

Below is key information on the census counting process that all New Yorkers can keep in mind when completing the form:

•Four Ways to Respond. There are four ways to respond to the 2020 census: online, by phone, by mail or in person (with the help of census taker who will be visiting households that have not yet responded). Visit https://my2020census.gov/ to complete the census online or call 1-844-330-2020 to complete the census by phone. Additional phone numbers for a variety of languages can be found here. One can also mail in the form they should have received in March from the Census Bureau.

•Questions Asked. The census asks how many people are living in one’s household as of April 1, 2020. The census asks 10 basic questions: name; number of people living or staying in the home on April 1, 2020; whether the residence is owned or rented; telephone number (only to be used if needed for official Census Bureau business); sex; age; date of birth; Hispanic origin; race; and relationship with other household members.

When completing the Census, note college students should be counted where they would have been staying on April 1, even if they went home early due to a COVID-19 school closure or a shift to distance learning.

The census will never ask for citizenship or immigration status, social security numbers, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party or for a bank or credit card account numbers.

•U.S. Census Takers in your Neighborhood. One may see census takers, known as enumerators, in their neighborhood to collect responses to the 2020 census. All census takers completed a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols and will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit. All census takers are required to wear a face mask and will also be equipped with hand sanitizer and gloves.

Census takers are hired from the local area, and their goal is to help people be counted in the 2020 census. If the census taker who visits a home does not speak the resident’s language, they may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak that language. If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

Below are reminders to help identify a census taker:

√ Census takers and field representatives will conduct their work between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

√ All census takers or field representatives will present an ID badge that includes their name, their photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.

√ In addition to wearing a mask, all census takers or field representatives will have an official 2020 census bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device, such as a laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo. There will be an "official business" notice on their car.

√ Official census takers will never ask to enter a home. They will never ask for money, threaten detainment or deportation, or request additional documentation. They will only ask questions that are on the official census questionnaire.

√ One can find additional information about census takers by clicking here.

If one still has questions about a census taker's identity, they can call 844-330-2020 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

•U.S. Census Emails. The Census Bureau has also emailed households that have not yet responded to the census. Emails were sent to all households in low-responding areas, even to those households that have responded. The email messages came from [email protected] and included a link to the census self-response page.

•Your Data is Protected. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect one’s answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect one’s personal information for life. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about a person, their home, or their immigration status – even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures one’s private data is protected and that answers cannot be used against anyone by any government agency or court. The answers one provides are used only to produce statistics.

•Avoiding Scams Online. The use of any website that mentions being affiliated with the U.S. Census should be verified. The easiest way to verify the site is to check if address includes ".gov," as only official U.S. and state government websites can use ".gov." Fraudulent sites purporting to be official government service providers may steal personal information.

•Reporting Suspected Fraud. If one suspects fraud, they can call 844-330-2020 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. If it is determined the visitor who came to the door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact the local police department.

Official census information can be found by visiting the U.S. Census Bureau website and by visiting New York state's census website.

The New York State Department of State also offers the following resources to help New Yorkers:

√ Office for New Americans hotline 1-800-566-7636. The Office for New Americans' free hotline is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and can help new Americans in more than 200 languages. For more information on the Office for New Americans, visit the website at https://www.newamericans.ny.gov/. The office can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSNewAmericans or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYSNewAmericans.

√ DCP consumer helpline 1-800-697-1220: The DCP consumer helpline offers safe, direct assistance for any New Yorker who believes they have been treated unfairly while in the marketplace. To report suspected census fraud or scams, call the DCP consumer helpline at 800-697-1220, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or visit the DCP website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

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