To maximize participation in the 2020 census, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney today called on the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) to establish a Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC), hold a local jobs fair and work in lockstep with the City of Newburgh to maximize local participation in the upcoming decennial census.
The officials explained that in 2010, Newburgh had one of the lowest census-participation rates in New York State (a mere 57%), and that the city cannot be allowed to fall through the cracks yet again, as representation and many forms of federal funding are determined by the decennial census count. Therefore, the federal representatives requested that the Bureau establish a Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC) in Newburgh, host a U.S. Census Bureau jobs fair for worker recruitment in Newburgh and help facilitate a meeting with key community leaders to establish a partnership and better coordinate census outreach and participation.
“An accurate census count is essential for any community to receive federal resources for transportation, housing, social services and infrastructure, and in 2010, the City of Newburgh’s was a far cry from the truth. We need to be doing everything possible to increase Newburgh’s census participation rate and bring it closer to reality, so that the city gets the support it deserves,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why today we are launching a three-pronged push to ensure that each and every resident of Newburgh is counted in the 2020 census. With the very first internet-based decennial census set to go live in less than a year, the time to prepare and mobilize to reverse Newburgh’s trend of low response is already upon us.”
“The census is one of the most important tools that we have to determine how federal resources are allocated. Ten years ago, the City of Newburgh had one of the lowest census participation rates in New York. As we prepare for next year’s census, we need to do everything we can to make sure that residents have the support they need to actively participate,” said Senator Gillibrand. “An accurate count will help ensure that the City of Newburgh receives the federal investment necessary to meet the city’s needs for the next decade, and I am calling on the Census Bureau to work with the community so that everyone can be counted.”
“This count impacts everything from better roads to seats in Head Start and money for kids to go to college. If we don’t do this right, Newburgh will be cheated out of resources it needs and deserves for yet another decade. That can’t happen,” said Rep. Maloney. “Newburgh is already getting short shrift, and this simple solution will go a long way toward fixing the problem – let’s get it done.”
Schumer, Gillibrand and Maloney explained that Newburgh’s census-response rate of a mere 57% in 2010
Additionally, since the Bureau will have to hire numerous temporary positions starting this fall and continuing into next year, the officials urged the Bureau to host a jobs fair in Newburgh in the coming months. Schumer, Gillibrand and Maloney suggested that hiring diverse and well-trained local workers could help to ensure maximum community participation and a more accurate census count. The officials argued that the greater number of local applicants that the Bureau can field, the greater participation and engagement in the 2020 U.S. census.
Lastly, as education of community leaders and mobilization of community-based institutions is critical to maximizing participation rates, Schumer, Gillibrand and Maloney requested that the Census Bureau meet with local leaders in Newburgh to determine best practices and how to improve response rates.
A copy of Schumer, Gillibrand and Maloney’s letter appears below.
Dear Director Dillingham,
We write to request the Census Bureau (“Bureau”) work with the City of Newburgh, NY to maximize the participation in the upcoming decennial census. Specifically, we request that the Bureau establish Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC) in Newburgh, host a U.S. Census Bureau jobs fair for worker recruitment in Newburgh, and facilitate a meeting with key community leaders to better coordinate Census outreach and participation.
In 2010, Newburgh had one of the state’s lowest response rates with only 57% of city residents responding. This is the prime reason why it is why we believe establishing a Questionnaire Assistance Center in the City of Newburgh is necessary. A QAC will provide electronic resources to help people complete the first ever internet-based decennial U.S. Census survey. Local leaders have expressed a strong desire to improve the community’s participation rate, and we want the Bureau to work closely with them to achieve this goal.
As you know, representation and many forms of federal funding are directly related to the census count. Newburgh is an economically distressed city, and like many similar communities, it has been under-counted for many years. Establishing a Census Questionnaire Assistance Center in Newburgh will help reverse this negative outcome.
The Bureau will have to hire numerous temporary positions starting this fall and continuing into next year. We believe hiring diverse and well-trained workers will help ensure maximum community participation. To achieve this we urge the Bureau to organize a jobs fair in Newburgh. This type of community engagement will increase responsiveness and enhance accuracy. We believe that the greater the number of local applicants that the Bureau can field, the greater participation and engagement in the 2020 U.S. Census.
Finally, as education of community leaders and mobilization of community-based institutions is critical to maximizing participation rates, we request the Census Bureau meet with local leaders to determine best practices and how to improve response rates.
We look forward to hearing from you on these requests and to working with the Bureau to achieve the maximum participation in Newburgh, NY – and in every community in our state.