Adams steps up Census appeal

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams.
Associated Press / Seth Wenig

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams on Friday stepped his appeal to Brooklynites to get counted in the 2020 Census, saying that he will not give up until all residents are counted.

“I am never going to stop fighting to ensure every single Brooklynite is counted ahead of the US Census’ self-response deadline,” said Adams in an email message.

“With the Census Bureau ending all counting efforts on Sept. 30, we need to ramp up that fight and ensure that Brooklyn — which, as of today reports a response rate of 53.2 percent, the last among the five boroughs, and far below the 64 percent response rate nationally — gets the representation it deserves,” he said.

The borough president said that more than 80 percent of Brooklynites live in hard-to-count neighborhoods, and that one third all Brooklyn households did not mail back their 2010 Census forms.

“By filling out your 2020 Census form, you are helping to ensure increased representation, particularly among traditionally undercounted populations, such as the elderly, low-income, undocumented and young people, as well as those for whom English is not their first language,” he said.

“Time is running out, and the sense of urgency cannot be overstated,” Adams warned. “I implore you to fill out your 2020 Census form; and when you fill out your form, get 10 people you know to fill theirs out, too.

“We can do this, Brooklyn; let’s stand up and #MakeBrooklynCount!” he urged.

Earlier this month, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams strongly blasted President Donald J. Trump after the US Census Bureau announced it would end all counting efforts for the 2020 Census on Sept. 30, a month earlier than the previous deadline.

“The Trump administration has been transparent, blatant and shameless in its efforts to undermine the 2020 Census, particularly by discounting metropolitan areas and disregarding Black, brown and immigrant communities,” said Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, on Wednesday.

“It has been rebuffed and rejected in every past attempt, and changing the deadline is a last-ditch effort toward these same ends,” he added. “Ending the count early all but ensures an undercount for New York City, and a subsequent lack of resources and representation.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, we need more time to ensure an accurate count, not less,” Williams continued. “But this is an administration unconcerned by inaccuracy, indifferent to the consequences – particularly in communities of more color.”

In early August, a broad coalition of elected officials, community groups and Brooklyn residents marched through South and Central Brooklyn to raise awareness about the census and racial justice.

The “Census March for Racial Justice,” organized by Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie and co-sponsored by numerous Brooklyn elected officials, began concurrently in Sunset Park and Brownsville, and converged for a rally at Grand Army Plaza.

“From infrastructure and healthcare, to school funding and political representation, the stakes for the 2020 Census are impossible to overstate,” said Myrie, the State Senate’s point person on the Census, whose grandmother hailed from Jamaica.

“Our communities have historically been undercounted, underfunded and underserved,” added the representative for the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn. “Once every decade, we have the chance to show up, get counted and fight for the dollars we deserve.

“Filling out the Census takes 10 minutes to answer 10 questions, but the impacts for our neighborhoods, city and state last for 10 years,” continued Myrie. “At a time when the federal government wants to starve us of needed resources, it is more important than ever that everyone completes the Census, so that Brooklyn counts 100 percent.”

On Thursday, Brooklyn Sen. Roxanne Persaud, representative for the 19th Senatorial District, urged the community to complete the census.

“Responding to the census has never been more important,” said the Guyanese-born Persaud in a message to constituents. “Not only does the census determine funding for our schools and affordable housing, but it also impacts funding for hospitals, emergency services, and critical healthcare programs.

“The census guides distribution of federal funds based on population,” she added. “These are resources that our city and our communities need now more than ever.

“Please take a moment to answer the 10-question survey today by phone at (844) 330-2020 or online at My2020Census.gov,” Persaud urged. “It’s fast, easy and completely confidential.”

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also appealed to New Yorkers to complete the census.

“There is still time to fill out and submit this year’s US Census form,” said DiNapoli in an email message. “The results of the census are critically important as they determine New York’s representation in Congress and influence how much federal funding our state receives for essential programs in education, public transit, health care and other areas.

“Make sure your voice is heard,” he appealed. “Remind your family and friends, too! It is critical that every New Yorker gets counted.”

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