Census 2020: Deadline on 12/13 for Complete Count Outreach Grants
By Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI)On December 4, 2019, the Empire State Development Corporation, on behalf of New York State, sent a letter to all chief elected officers, county administrators and county managers of the 57 counties outside New York City, to the five borough presidents and to the mayors of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers to "Request Expressions of Interest in Census 2020 Complete Count Outreach Grants" that are available from NYS to conduct census work.
and Mark LaVigne, NYSAC Deputy Director
and Mark LaVigne, NYSAC Deputy Director
The state communication requests that each county, borough and city reply by Friday December 13, 2019 with a signed letter from the Executive (or Board Chair) of the county that includes:
- A statement of interest in receiving a funding award and using the funds for outreach to maximize census participation within their jurisdiction; and
- A brief description of the potential types of additional, not yet funded, census outreach activities that will be undertaken and the nature of the potential additional expenditures that will by supported if the county is awarded funding.
Local Government's Critical Role in Achieving an Accurate Count in 2020
Counties play a crucial role in provision of public safety, health and human services and quality of life for constituents. Every ten years, counties have the opportunity to bring additional resources into the region and help set a ten-year funding precedent. Click here for more Census 2020 resources.
Participating in the 2020 Census and leveraging the public-facing nature of county government to reach communities that are historically undercounted is imperative to the sustainability of communities and health and human service programs.
The data collected through the Census effects the quality of life that counties seek to protect. Census data is used for funding schools, roads, infrastructure, transit, Head Start, Medicaid, disaster relief and so much more. During a time in which constituents of every political persuasion are experiencing concern about national and global issues, New York's voice and representation is at-risk in the event of an undercount. With just a 0.6% undercount, New York stands to lose two Congressional representatives, putting our fair share of representation and our voices at risk. The time has never been more crucial; the initiative never more impactful.
Complete Count Committees, consisting of government partnering with nonprofits, libraries, education systems, businesses, and faith-based institutions, are organizing bodies that develop strategy and action items and work to co-educate community messengers about why Census participation matters, barriers to a Complete Count, and the protections afforded by Title XIII. Creating a Complete Count Committee and regularly convening and planning is an essential first step for effective Get Out the Count (GOTC) efforts. Given the far-reaching effects of the 2020 Census on federal funding and representation, it is imperative that strategic planning is underway now. PDF: Building a Complete Count Campaign
Significant barriers exist to securing an accurate count in New York State, but one of the primary barriers is simply a lack of knowledge about the funding implications of Census completion. Counties and local government are uniquely positioned to get the word out about the Census by utilizing their broad reach in creative and innovative ways.
The stakes for our region couldn't be higher and our success depends on our communities coming together and building momentum around the 2020 Census. Although there are significant challenges to a Complete Count in 2020, we can stand together to ensure that New York State is fairly and fully represented next year. Counties are key stakeholders in securing the sustainability of this great state. By tapping into the resources and connecting power of your county government, you can help achieve a Complete Count in 2020.
Counties who have additional questions for New York State can reach out directly to Richard Tobe at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org.
PDF: Building a Complete Count Campaign
Click here for more Census 2020 resources.