Governor David A. Paterson today announced that 31 grants totaling $2 million have been awarded to community groups and local governments that will assist the federal government in ensuring every New Yorker is counted during next year’s census.
The grants were appropriated as part of the 2009-10 State budget. They will fund public education, community outreach and other activities targeted at hard-to-count and low response rate populations for promoting awareness of the 2010 census, improving census questionnaire mail-back rates and encouraging cooperation with census takers.
“These grants will ensure that all New Yorkers are ready come March, when the Census Bureau sends out its questionnaire,” Governor Paterson said. “I am looking forward to working with these organizations and municipalities, as well as with the many Complete Count Committees organized across the State, to help New York get its fair share of representation and federal dollars.”
“I want to remind all New Yorkers that the census is safe, as responses are strictly confidential and protected by law; 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 your community,” the Governor added.
New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said: “Especially after the undercount in 2000, in which more than 200,000 New Yorkers were not tallied, we need every New Yorker to help us achieve an accurate count this time around. These grants are an investment in our State, as every additional New Yorker counted will in turn help the State receive much needed federal funding for social services and infrastructure improvements. New York has a diverse population – from the high-rise dwellers in New York City to the family farmers of Genesee County – and we are proud to provide critical financial support for community outreach efforts to ensure a complete count.”
Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said: “During times of fiscal crisis, we must do everything possible to ensure New York receives the federal dollars it deserves. Funding for vital service areas like transportation, health care, education, and public safety are dependent on an accurate accounting of each and every New Yorker. I thank Governor Paterson for recognizing the immense value to our state in achieving an accurate census and signing this bill.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “In order for our state to receive a fair distribution of federal funds for programs to assist the elderly, unemployed and at-need residents, every New Yorker must be counted in the upcoming census. With the $2 million award announced today, local governments and dedicated civic organizations will be able to target outreach and media efforts towards underrepresented communities to ensure an accurate count. The Assembly Majority encourages all New Yorkers to make sure that they are counted to guarantee that billions of dollars in federal aid is available to our state in the coming decade. I thank Governor Paterson for his dedication to meeting New York’s goals for the upcoming federal census.”
The grants fund two categories: outreach and mobilization and media campaigns. Outreach and mobilization activities can take many forms, including distribution of literature, door–to–door conversations and training community members to advocate for census participation or to assist hard–to–count populations in filling out the census questionnaire. Media campaigns will promote census participation through print, broadcast and online media.
The 2010 Census is a nationwide effort to count the more than 310 million people living in the United States – including the nearly 20 million residents of New York. Questionnaires will be mailed in mid-March and comprise just 10 questions that can be answered in less than 10 minutes.
The population of New York State, as determined by the 2010 census, will play a critical role in determining political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, the New York State Legislature and in New York’s local governments. Information gathered through the census will also determine how the federal government distributes more than $400 billion each year back to the states for critical programs such as education, housing and community development, health care and transportation.
State, local and tribal governments use census information for planning and to allocate funds for new school construction, libraries and other public buildings, highway safety and public transportation systems, new roads and bridges, the location of police and fire departments and many other projects.
Earlier this year, the Governor signed Executive Order No. 30, establishing the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee to raise awareness of the census and maximize the participation of all New Yorkers. The New York Census Action Council, chaired by Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez, will coordinate the Committee’s work.
For more information on the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee, please visit here.
Grants were awarded to the following groups.
Outreach and Mobilization Grants:
Asian American Federation
Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce
Centro Cultural Hispano de Oyster Bay, East Norwich
Chinese-American Planning Council
Citizens Advice Bureau, Inc.
City of Albany, Vital Statistics
City of Buffalo
City of New Rochelle
City of Syracuse, Department of Community Development
City of Rochester
City of White Plains
City of Yonkers
Council of Peoples Organization
County of St. Lawrence
Emerald Isle Immigration Center
Make the Road New York
Medgar Evers College (CUNY) Center for Law and Social Justice
The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
NYS Association of Regional Councils
Sesame Flyers International, Inc.
Media Campaign Grants:
Asian American Federation
Asian Americans for Equality
City of Buffalo
City of Rochester
New York Immigration Coalition