Congressman Crowley Hosts Census Outreach Event with Special Guest U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke
Queens, N.Y. – Today, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-the Bronx, Queens) hosted a discussion with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke regarding the 2010 Census. Secretary Locke and Congressman Crowley encouraged community leaders from the Bronx and Queens to make a strong push for all New Yorkers to participate in the 2010 Census. The Census is used to count every person living in the United States every ten years and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are 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 are allocated each year to local, state, and tribal governments.
“We cannot afford for New York to be undercounted in the 2010 Census,” said Congressman Crowley. “Today, Secretary Locke and I strategized with community leaders who will work to get their friends, family and neighbors to mail their 2010 Census back by April 15th. They are the trusted voices in their neighborhoods and, working together, we can reassure residents that completing the census is both important and safe. I thank Secretary Locke for coming to Queens and helping to ensure that New York is accurately represented in the 2010 Census.”
New York City, although heavily populated, is an area that is traditionally undercounted in the Census, which causes the city and state to lose out on important Federal support. In 2000, only 57% of New York City households returned their census forms. And as of today, only 49% of Queens households and 52% of Bronx households have returned their forms.
“We are getting to crunch time for mail-back responses to the 2010 census, and we need everyone’s help to get folks to fill out their forms and mail them back,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said today in New York. “The success of the 2010 Census does not rely on people in Washington like me talking about why the Census is important – it relies on the people who are on the ground and can communicate directly with their neighbors and friends about why they should participate. I thank Congressman Crowley for his leadership and for bringing together the community leaders in the Bronx and Queens who can help spread the word about the importance of the census.”
Census forms need to be completed and returned to the Census Bureau by April 15th. The questionnaire is incredibly easy and safe as well. It has only ten questions, does not ask about citizenship or legal status, and answers cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court.
The Census Bureau’s website, 2010.census.gov, provides important information about the 2010 Census. It also features a tool to see how local communities are progressing at returning their forms.
Attending the meeting were representatives from a variety of local groups, including Make the Road, Maspeth Town Hall, Food Bank for NYC, Safe Horizon, Dominico-American Society, Elmcor, and Woodside on the Move.
Congressman Crowley, a six-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, represents New York’s 7th Congressional district (the Bronx, Queens), which is one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the United States.