New Yorkers urged to fill out Census 2020 starting March 12

Participants at a South Asian and Indo-Caribbean media roundtable hosted by the NYC Census 2020 and New York Immigration Coalition in Manhattan, March 2. From left, moderator, Meeta Anand, Senior Fellow, New York Immigration Coalition; Kazi Fouzia, Census Manager, DRUM, Desis Rising Up and Moving; Aliya Bhatia, Census Manager, ABNY (Association for a Better New York); Amit Singh Bagga, deputy director, Mayor’s Census Office (New York Census 2020); Narbada Chhetri, director of Organizing and Advocacy at Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice; Mariam Rauf, Census Outreach Manager, Asian American Federation; Ahsia Badi, New York State Census Director, Emgage USA; and Annetta Seecharran, executive director, Chhaya Community Development Corporation.

With less than one week before the 2020 Census becomes available online, Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson, and NYC Census 2020 Director Julie Menin called upon New Yorkers to participate in the 2020 Census to ensure that New York City receives its fair share of hundreds of billions in federal funding for important programs and services, as well as its fair share of representation in Congress.

The New York City Census Bureau says that “the more New Yorkers who fill out the census, the more money the city receives for public education, healthcare, housing, roads and bridges, and so much more.”

This year, the census will be available online or via phone for the first time, making the census easier than ever to complete.

Aaccording to the New York City Census Bureau, the city “has taken serious measures to ensure a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census, which determines the city’s future for the next 10 years.” In 2019, along with many partners, the City prevailed at the Supreme Court against the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census, an effort specifically designed to spread fear and depress participation.

In addition, the de Blasio Administration and the City Council have together provided $40 million in funding to support the NYC Complete Count Campaign, which is housed at NYC Census 2020 and led by director Julie Menin.

The census is for everyone, no matter one’s immigration or citizenship status, or housing situation, and all New Yorkers -- no matter what language they speak or where or how they live -- must be counted.

“In a matter of days we need to make sure that every New Yorker is counted regardless of immigration status or where they live in any of the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I encourage everybody to make their voices be heard sooner rather than later by filling out the census online or by phone. Our resources for a better future are at stake and we don’t want to wait another 10 years for the next census.”

“The importance of counting every New Yorker cannot be overstated. Millions of dollars in federal funds are at stake for our schools, our roads, our hospitals, our housing,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “Trump and his administration wanted to intimidate us so that New York wouldn't get an accurate count, but we are putting all our efforts into proving them wrong, together. I’m proud of the Council’s and the Mayor’s commitment of $40 million dollars to ensure a complete count—the largest investment of any city in the nation. Starting March 12, New Yorkers will be able to complete the census form, including online and over the phone. Filling out the census is fast, easy and secure, and can be filled out in multiple languages. I will be filling out my questionnaire. We cannot afford to fall short. We will not fall short. I encourage all New Yorkers to complete the census so that our City is counted fully.”

“Make no mistake -- despite being one of the foundations of our democracy and the exercise meant to facilitate access to the resources and representation that are rightfully ours, the census has been weaponized against, and has undercounted, black and brown communities since the earliest days of our nation,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “This year, we’re not going to let that happen. The only way we’re going to make the census count for us and help to narrow the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in our nation is if we are counted. Don’t give into the fear - go online and stand up for your community and your city.”

“New York City has been losing out on funds for schools, hospitals, and more because only 62% of New Yorkers self-responded to the 2010 Census,” said NYC Census 2020 Director Julie Menin. “This year, we need to make that 100%. That is why, coupled with the need to combat the misinformation and disinformation being spread by those who want to create fear, we have worked with hundreds of partners to run the largest coordinated municipal campaign in the country; nothing will deter us in our fight for a complete and accurate count this year.”

“Our message to New Yorkers is simple – the census is safe, easy, and vitally important,” said Carlos Menchaca, Co-Chair of the New York City Council Census Task Force. “Your immigration status does not matter. No importa tu estatus migratorio. This is a count of everyone, and the government is prohibited from sharing your information. El gobierno no puede compartir tu información personal. Everything the government funds – from schools, to healthcare, to our streets – is based on how many people they think live in New York City. Let’s show them we are here and are to be counted.”

“It’s imperative that every New Yorker knows how important it is to fill out the census starting next week. But New Yorkers should also know that the census is completely safe and confidential to fill out, and I am working around the clock to continue that education so we achieve a complete count,” said Carlina Rivera, Co-Chair of the New York City Council Census Task Force. “Billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional representation are at stake. I want to thank everyone who has joined us in making unprecedented investments for this effort, including the Mayor’s Office, our community-based organizations, labor unions, and trusted non-profits. Now let’s get counting.”

“In just one week all New Yorkers – regardless of immigration status -- can begin to raise our voices to fight for our fair share of federal funding and political representation by exercising our right to get counted in the 2020 Census,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Participating in the census is safe, and you can get counted online, over the phone, via a paper form, or at your local library, in 13 languages. The census form has no questions about citizenship or immigration status. This is a time for all our residents to exercise their power without fear and right to be counted, declaring proudly, ‘I am a New Yorker’”

Important Facts about the 2020 Census

The census is available primarily online and by phone this year: and 1-844-330-2020.

There are no questions related to immigration or citizenship on the 2020 Census.

The census contains only 10 questions, and none ask about employment, income, or for one’s Social Security number.

The census is for everyone, regardless of immigration or citizenship status or housing situation. New Yorkers living with friends, family members, roommates, other families, or even in unlawful housing units, can and should participate in the 2020 Census.

All responses to the census and any personal information held by the Census Bureau are protected by Title XIII of the United States code, which makes the sharing of any personal information by a Census Bureau employee a serious crime, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

By law, census information can only be used for statistical purposes, and cannot be used against an individual or family in any way. The Census Bureau cannot share any personal information with any government agencies, private individuals, or companies. This includes immigration enforcement, law enforcement, any other federal, state, or city agencies, and landlords.

Starting March 12, all New Yorkers will be able to fill out the census by visiting or by calling 1-844-330-2020. From March 12 until mid-May, the census will be primarily conducted online and via phone, and all New Yorkers are very strongly encouraged to participate online or by phone in order to avoid a knock on their doors in the summer.

This year, New Yorkers will be able to complete the census form online in 12 languages in addition to English, and each of these languages will also have its own dedicated, unique phone number that speakers of these languages can call to receive direct assistance. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau has published “explainer” guides in a total of 59 languages. For more information, please visit:

For New Yorkers who require assistance completing the census online, the City of New York, through the city’s three library systems, as well as NYC Census 2020’s Complete Count Fund awardees, will be providing a network of dozens of “pop-up” locations across the five boroughs where New Yorkers will be able to get questions answered in multiple languages, and have access to computers or tablets.

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