Chairman Crowley, Rep. Clarke Lead New York City Congressional Delegation Letter Calling for Appropriate Funding for 2020 Census

July 6, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), along with members of the New York City congressional delegation, called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to support full and appropriate funding for the New York City operations of the Census Bureau and the 2020 Census.

Census data is used to determine the number of congressional seats each state receives, how state legislative districts are drawn, and how more than $400 billion in federal funds is allocated each year to local, state, and tribal governments. New York City, although heavily populated, is traditionally undercounted in the Census, which causes the city and state to lose out on important federal support. In 2010, problems with field operations in two local census offices in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens resulted in undercounted neighborhoods that have been left underserved. As a result, over the past seven years, New York City has had to manage this shortfall and take its own corrective actions to modify the 2010 Census numbers so that city agencies had access to accurate data.

“New Yorkers cannot afford to be undercounted in the 2020 Census,” said Chairman Crowley. “I am calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to allocate appropriate funding for the 2020 Census to ensure New York is accurately represented and to avoid the previous undercounts that have impacted the fair representation and fair share of resources my Queens and Bronx constituents deserve.”

“As the population of New York City continues to expand, our needs increase," said Congresswoman Clarke. "But historically, communities of color and immigrant families have been undercounted and, therefore, underserved. In the 2010 Census, for example, some neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn were reported to have lost population, despite the fact that the population had clearly increased. We need sufficient resources to count every individual in New York City to guarantee their full representation."

“You can’t plan to serve the people of this nation unless you know who they are and what their needs are. It’s essential to good policy, regardless of one’s political affiliation or geography. Every person counts,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I join with the New York delegation in calling for fully funding 21st century practices for Census Bureau to avoid a major undercount of the 2020 census.”

To rectify these issues, Chairman Crowley, Congresswoman Clarke, and members of the New York City congressional delegation are calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to support full and appropriate funding for the Census Bureau over the next three years to execute an accurate enumeration in 2020.

To avoid a major undercount of the 2020 census, the Census Bureau needs to monitor 2020 operations in real time. To accomplish this, the Census Bureau needs sufficient funding to test methods and tools that will be required for this purpose. The Census Bureau also needs funding for a full communications campaign that emphasizes the importance of responding to the census.

In addition to Chairman Crowley and Rep. Clarke, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Hakeem S. Jeffries, Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia M. Velázquez, Eliot L. Engel, Thomas R. Suozzi, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Adriano Espaillat, and José E. Serrano.

Read the letter.