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Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and CUNY Award $19 Million to More Than 150 Organizations Citywide in Landmark Investment in Census Education and Organizing

December 9, 2019

The Complete Count Fund will resource community-based organizations serving New Yorkers of all demographic and linguistic backgrounds; It's the largest census-education investment by any major city in the nation

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and The City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez announced today the more than 150 awardees of the $19 million NYC Complete Count Fund, the City's first-ever community awards program focused on census-related education and organizing. This joint investment by the de Blasio Administration and City Council represents the lion's share of the City's total $40 million going towards census-related mobilization — the largest investment by any city nationwide, and larger than those made by most states.

"New York City will not be intimidated. We must stand and be counted. This historic investment in grassroots organizing will help mobilize New Yorkers to fight for the resources we are owed," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I'm so proud to partner with these Community Based Organizations that are in every corner of the city. They will help us get a complete and accurate count. We have to get this right. This is a once-in-a decade chance to make sure we get the federal resources we deserve. Every New Yorker counts. This is an investment in our future," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

"That the federal government has been attempting to manipulate the census to oppress marginalized communities is nothing new – it happened during Reconstruction, it happened during Jim Crow – it even happened with Japanese internment. Even with the law on our side, this time, we're leaving nothing up to chance. With this unprecedented investment, we're bringing resources and organizing directly into the communities that need them the most, and we will prevail in our fight to achieve what is rightfully ours – a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson.

"The City University of New York is proud to play such an important role in this effort and work with NYC Census 2020 to ensure every New Yorker is counted, so our city and state can get the funds they deserve for the vital resources our fellow New Yorkers need," said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. "Ensuring a fair and accurate census count for New York in 2020, is not only a service that CUNY is uniquely positioned to perform, but our duty as an integral New York institution. Working alongside our partners, we will be helping our own students, their families and our fellow New Yorkers. We are thankful to the Mayor's Office and the City Council for the opportunity to partner in this vital work."

Built on the understanding that local community-based organizations — which serve New Yorkers in the communities where they live and in the languages that they speak — are the most trusted messengers of important and sensitive information, the Complete Count Fund is designed to resource and train organizations to build awareness about the census, convey its importance, and fight the spread of misinformation and disinformation. These organizations are also uniquely positioned to help bridge the digital divide that might prevent many New Yorkers from participating in next year's census, which will be online for the first time. Awards range from $15,000 to $250,000, and organizations will be required to both expand capacity and engage in direct mobilization around the census from January through June of 2020.

The list of awardees speaks to the abundance of diversity and creativity that NYC has to offer, showcasing that a full count of hard-to-reach communities is possible with this sort of remarkable ingenuity.

See the full list of Complete Count Fund Awardees here

Activities and Deliverables

All awardees are 501(c)(3) nonprofits, or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3). Collectively, their work spans a wide array of services and activities, such as: social services, free legal services, health care, education, advocacy and organizing, among others. Applicant organizations were assessed for their unique abilities to reach the demographic groups and geographic areas of the City most likely to be undercounted in the 2020 Census. Ranging significantly in size and type, these more than 150 awardees closely reflect New York City's enormous linguistic and cultural diversity.

Awardees will be asked to build in census-related education into existing service delivery and organizing activities with an emphasis on:

  • Culturally and linguistically-competent education to convey the significance of the census through hyper-local and targeted messaging that speaks to diverse communities across the geographic and demographic spectrum;
  • On-the-ground mobilization through hosting civil rights-style "teach-ins," hosting workshops and community forums, as well as direct engagement at subway stops and other high-traffic areas in historically undercounted communities; and
  • Facilitation of digital access by hosting census pop-up sites where New Yorkers who lack reliable internet access can participate in the country's first online census.

Awardees will report regularly on a robust list of deliverables reflective of each organization's knowledge-based expertise and activities that best reach the "geo-demographic" communities they serve, such as:

  • The number of unique New Yorkers engaged via community canvassing, phone-banking, and peer-to-peer texting;
  • The number of "commitment cards," through which New Yorkers commit to participating in the census;
  • The number of events attended and organized where census messaging and mobilization is incorporated;
  • The number of social media posts, number of earned media hits;
  • The number of other communication vehicles with reach, such as e-newsletters and mailings; and
  • The number of New Yorkers who participate in the census via any pop-up sites created or leveraged.

"When we're undercounted, we're counted out. Our communities go underrepresented and underfunded for decades at a time," said NYC Census 2020 Director Julie Menin. "Past censuses have failed us too many times — from communities of color to immigrant communities, to low-income communities, and people in unconventional living arrangements.  New York City is proudly the largest US city that these undercounted communities call home, and we are proudly innovating and leading the fight to count all Americans in the census."

"Back in January, Council Member Carlina Rivera and I promised to mobilize the Council to fund and oversee the City's census outreach activities. This announcement is the fulfillment of that promise. Not only will these funds go directly to organizations who know exactly how to reach our most vulnerable neighbors in every community, it represents the largest investment of any city nationwide for the 2020 Census. Achieving a complete count is an unprecedented challenge. But here, the goal has never appeared more attainable," said City Council Member and Co-Chair of the Council's Census 2020 Task Force Carlos Menchaca.

"This historic partnership and investment between the City Council, the de Blasio administration, and CUNY ensures that every community in New York City will have its own base of well-funded and well-supported community advocates reaching out to their neighbors to explain why completing this Census is so important. The $19 million we're investing in these groups isn't just an investment for a complete count though – it will also help us strengthen community ties and produce what we hope is a long-lasting commitment to neighborhood organizing on a wide variety of issues in the future," said New York City Councilwoman and Co-Chair of the Council's 2020 Census Task Force Carlina Rivera.

"As Chancellor of the largest school district in the nation, I want to make sure that our parents, our families and our communities have everything they need to actively participate in the Census, because every New Yorker deserves to be counted," said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. "I commend the Mayor, Speaker, and CUNY Chancellor for taking on such a critical effort, and I stand with them in their effort to educate and mobilize every community in New York City."

Selection Process

From the innovative nature of the partnership between the City, the City Council, and CUNY, to the Request for Proposals (RFP) and the ensuing selection, the entire process has been accessible, easy to navigate, and particularly responsive to community needs.

Applicants were asked to detail the communities they serve in terms of neighborhood, race and ethnic group, as well as the type of census outreach activities they intend to engage in (e.g., building census messaging into service provisions, community canvassing, phone-banking, text-banking, creating pop-up centers).

Based on a variety of data sets, as well as criteria outlined in the original RFP, applicants were assessed based on: the demographic groups they serve, the geographies they serve, their track record to date, as well as their current and proposed capacities.

Additionally, the process was designed to be responsive and sensitive to challenges faced by groups of different types and sizes. Organizations were only compared to other organizations of similar budget size, ensuring that smaller organizations that have not historically been considered highly qualified candidates for City funding would be fairly considered.

CUNY and the City will support groups as they operationalize a robust public education and outreach campaign for self-response to the 2020 census. These efforts will engage outreach workers and/or volunteers, and will be rooted in the organization's prior planning, mapping, and capacity-building work.

Awardees by the Number

Spanning the five boroughs, the NYC Complete Count Awardees reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of New York City, and serve New Yorkers in unique ways.

  • Awarded groups serve all 245 New York City neighborhoods, as defined by clustered U.S. Census tracts organized into Neighborhood Organizing Census Committees (NOCCs).
  • Collectively, the awardees organizations serve New Yorkers in more than 80 languages.
  • As they serve the borough with the lowest self-response rate in 2010, organizations in Brooklyn are receiving a plurality of funding at 33%.
  • Queens follows at 28%, The Bronx at 16%, Manhattan at 13%, and Staten Island with just under 10%.
  • More than 10 percent of these organizations are receiving City funding for the first time.

Combatting an Undercount in 2020

The awardees of the NYC Complete Count Fund are part of a larger citywide effort to move towards full participation in the 2020 Census, especially during the critical early self-response
period that will begin March 12, 2020.

In the 2010 Census, the city's initial self-response rate was just 61.9%, compared to the national average of approximately 76 percent. This difference suggests that New York City was significantly undercounted compared to the rest of the United States. Based on five-year data collected through the American Community Survey through 2017, New York City is at risk of being undercounted again in 2020.

Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau is estimating that the national 2020 initial self-response rate will only be 60.5 percent.

The US Census Bureau will attempt to close the gap between initial self-response and a complete count through its "Nonresponse Followup" (NRFU) operation, which involves door-to-door data collection conducted by their trained enumerators. This form of data collection is difficult and inherently less accurate than data that is self-reported.

In New York City — a complex environment with immense linguistic and cultural diversity coupled with fear and misinformation tied to the 2020 Census — we are presented with unique challenges. That is why resourcing local, community-based organizations to engage in education and organizing is a top priority for the City.

The census determines how more than $650 billion in federal funds for public education, public housing, roads and bridges, and more, are distributed annually throughout the country. It will also determine the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives (and thus, the Electoral College). Based on current estimates, an undercount could cost the State of New York up to two congressional seats, underscoring the importance of a complete and accurate count of New York City.

A Citywide Campaign and Citywide Coalition

The City's census mobilization efforts are being jointly planned between NYC Census 2020, the "Citywide Partners" group — which includes organizations funded discretionarily by the City Council to engage in census work — as well as CUNY, among many others. CUNY is playing a significant programmatic role in the implementation of the campaign and serves as the administrator of the Complete Count Fund.

To support these programmatic efforts, CUNY will be utilizing its $3 million portion of the Fund for the following activities:

  • Programmatic and contracting administration of the Complete Count Fund;
  • Recruiting, training, and operating the CUNY "Census Corps," a group of 200 students that will be engaged in direct mobilization efforts, both on and off campuses;
  • Organizing and implementing "Get Out the Count" events through the CUNY system, with a focus on ensuring that CUNY students' households are participating in the census; and
  • Conducting oversight and monitoring of awardees' performance throughout the duration of the program.

"We applaud the city's investment in making sure every New Yorker is counted through the Complete Count Fund," said President of 32BJ SEIU Kyle Bragg. "These resources will provide vital support for trusted community messengers to help all residents understand and trust the key role the Census plays in ensuring appropriate federal funding and political representation for all people who live in this country. We need to fight the misinformation and fear that threatens to exclude millions of people in the US from the representation and resources to which they are justly entitled."

"We applaud the Mayor, City Council, and CUNY for these critical and innovative investments into community-based organizations that will be working to ensure a fair and accurate 2020 Census," said New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, President Vincent Alvarez. "Our City's fair share of congressional representation is at stake, as are billions of dollars in federal funding for health, education, transportation and many other programs that New Yorkers rely on. The NYC Labor Counts! Complete Count Committee is committed to working in partnership with labor, civil rights advocacy groups, community-based organizations and local governments across all five boroughs to make sure that every New Yorker is counted."

"We lost hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, jobs, health care and transportation because not everyone was counted in 2010. We can't let that happen again. Everyone must be counted," said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers,

"It is absolutely essential that every single New Yorker is counted as part of the census, said Representative Jerrold Nadler. "The census is not just a collection of academic statistics.  It holds the key that unlocks political power for New Yorkers, and that delivers much needed federal assistance to our City and State.  These vital funds announced today to community based organizations around New York City will ensure that these organizations find hard-to-reach New Yorkers, and provide the assistance they need to participate in the census and to make sure that they are counted."

"No one is better positioned to educate and assist local communities about the 2020 Census than local organizations and individuals. This generous funding will help ensure they have the tools they need to successfully engage local residents and ensure that everyone is counted in the Bronx and across our city," said Congressman Jose E. Serrano.

"The Complete Count Fund is a much-needed stimulus to ensure New York City counts everyone.  Our community partners like Medgar Evers College and many other organizations will receive these much-needed funds. With our district serving some of least counted populations, I am encouraged that Census 2020 will see an unprecedented number of people counted," said NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

"I cannot emphasize enough the importance of what a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census means for all of us," said Council Member Adrienne Adams. "The numbers have a direct impact on billions of dollars in funding that affect community programs, health care, schools and job opportunities. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson and CUNY for being proactive in these efforts."

"The Complete Count Fund will mobilize our city's most credible messengers to distribute education about the 2020 Census, underscore its importance as it relates to funding for critical services, and fight against inaccuracies. Our city must do all that it can to ensure an accurate census count in 2020 and The Complete Count Fund will help us do that," said Council Member Diana Ayala. "I congratulate all of the awardees and thank both Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson for collaborating on this crucial effort."

"I'm proud of the historic investments we've made to ensure a 2020 complete count for New York City.  So much is at stake and getting participation from historically undercounted populations is critical to getting the resources we need and are entitled to," said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. "We've made the right decision by funding community-based organizations that truly represent all New Yorkers.  It's important for people to hear about the Census from credible messengers who can eliminate fear and reluctance to participate. I congratulate all grant awardees- their work is critical for New York's next 10 years."

"We need all hands-on-deck to ensure all New Yorkers are counted in the census, and our local community-based organizations have the strongest track record and trusted relationships on the ground to reach out to historically undercounted groups. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and CUNY for this record investment in immigrant participation in next year's census," said Council Member Margaret Chin.

"Having seen a 'loss' of more than 10,000 western Queens residents in the last census, I can't stress enough how important it is to get yourself counted," said Council Member Costa Constantinides. "Community-based organizations are New York City's neighborhood first responders, who ensure everyone is protected, accounted for, and served. Congrats to these winning organizations as they ensure every New Yorker is counted in the year to come."

"I commend Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson on their steadfast commitment to ensuring that all of New York City is counted for the 2020 Census. Kings County has many of the hardest to count tracts in the nation, and this investment will ensure that Brooklynites have accurate representation and funding from the federal government," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. "My office is well aware of this disparity, and we are working alongside community-based organizations to do education and outreach. Brooklyn is home to so many unique communities and cultures, and we must ensure that we elevate our voices and have our interests represented at the federal level."

"It is so important that the 2020 census shows an accurate reflection of New York City's diversity so that our communities can receive the resources and funding they need to thrive and succeed. No one is better equipped to help count these demographics than the local community-based organizations that are so often the first point of contact for many immigrants. Thank you to the Mayor, Speaker, CUNY, and all the CBOs who are working to mobilize and engage all New Yorkers to participate in the Census 2020," said Council Member Peter Koo.

"The attacks on immigrants coming from Washington have made many communities understandably nervous about engaging with the federal government. Local organizations, embedded in their communities, will help ensure that all New Yorkers are counted in the 2020 Census. Who gets counted determines who gets resources and political representation for years to come, and New York's vibrant and diverse communities must not be left out," said Council Member Brad Lander.

"Our city has undertaken an unprecedented strategy that is inclusive of all New Yorkers - without regard to one's age, race, national origin, or immigration status. The NYC Complete Count Fund is a lifeline that will help build trust and empower communities to overcome the barriers that have hindered past efforts to make Brooklyn count. One survey can have a detrimental ripple effect on our access to education, healthcare, housing and transportation. Our scholars and seniors cannot afford to wait another ten years to receive their fair share of federal funding to close the widening gap in resources for our community," said Council Member Farah N. Louis.

"The upcoming Census is critical to our democracy, and we need to ensure everyone is counted. That's why we launched the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee earlier this year in partnership with local community-based organizations, who are on the front lines of the fight for equal representation. Brooklyn is considered one of the hardest-to-count counties in New York State, and it's vital that we get the resources we deserve so we #MakeBrooklynCount," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

"From federal funding to our representation in Congress, there is so much at stake for New York City in the upcoming Census," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I thank the de Blasio Administration for making this investment to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted."

"The census affects every area of our lives, from housing, to education, to our representation in government, yet New York has a history of being undercounted. If we are going to get the resources our community needs, then we need all hands-on-deck for the 2020 census, and that's what this funding represents. This investment will make a major impact on our census efforts and make sure the 2020 census counts us in," said State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie.

"Community-based organizations are at the forefront of our neighborhoods and hold deep relationships with hard-to-reach populations and vulnerable Bronx-ites. The 21 organizations that have been awarded City funding for Census outreach in District 34 will be important players in ensuring that every member of our community is counted, and that the Bronx receives the federal funding and political representation we deserve. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for their investment in Census outreach, and I look forward to working with the community organizations in my district to get a full and accurate count of our friends, family, and neighbors in 2020," said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.

"It's vital that New Yorkers get counted. By investing $19 million in the NYC Census Complete Count Fund to mobilize for the census, we are ensuring that federal funds and fair political representation comes to our neighborhoods. In 2010, Brooklyn had among the lowest mail return rates for the census in the nation. It's time to change that and make Brooklyn, and NYC, count," said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

"The NYC Census Complete Count Fund is a crucial initiative for empowering community-based organizations to join the fight to count ALL of us New Yorkers," said State Senator Robert Jackson. The grantees in my district span an amazing swath of diversity, from the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation to the Gay Men's Health Crisis. I'm glad to see the City putting so much into the complete count initiative and look forward to supporting at the state level!"

"Based on data collected during the 2010 census, over two-thirds of the people in our district live in hard-to-count neighborhoods. It is among my top priorities to make sure that our hardworking neighbors are properly accounted for during the 2020 census so that we can provide the infrastructure, programs and resources Queens residents of all ages currently need and will benefit from in the future," said State Senator Jessica Ramos. "Through the NYC Census Complete Count Fund, more than 30 community-based organizations will be able to reach our residents right in our neighborhoods and educate and prepare our district for the upcoming census. Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the City Council and CUNY for investing in Queens and neighborhoods across New York City!"

"The 2020 Census count is a critical part of our democratic process and I commend Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Johnson, and CUNY for their initiative in funding the expansion of census-related education & organizing resources to make those easily accessible & available across NYC. Specifically, targeting diverse communities who have for far too long been historically undercounted and misrepresented, will lead to significant transformation in the resources provided to our communities," said State Senator Luis Sepulveda.

"Obtaining an accurate count in the upcoming census will require a concerted effort, with all stakeholders working together to ensure New York gets the resources it deserves. Local community partners play a critical role in this endeavor, and this investment will allow the 2020 Census to reach a greater number of New Yorkers through trusted messengers working in their neighborhoods. Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Johnson, and CUNY for their commitment to ensuring participation in the census," said State Senator José Serrano.

"New York City's unprecedented $40 million investment in Census 2020 outreach efforts will go a long way to help count every resident. Our city cannot afford another serious undercount costing lost congressional seats and millions of dollars in federal funding. I commend the Mayor and City Council for providing $16 million to community-based organizations who are best positioned to reach out into the neighborhoods and communities where census response rate increases are critical," said Assistant Speaker of the State Assembly Félix W. Ortiz.

"The impending census will be a critical event for our community. An undercount of our population could have disastrous consequences for funding and resources for our already-underserved communities. It is imperative that we throw in as much effort as possible into getting a proper count. I am pleased that the mayor's office is providing city resources and support to community organizations for this important endeavor," said State Assembly Member Michael G. DenDekker.

"I am glad to hear the city has released the award for hundreds of community-based organizations in New York City who will be doing outreach and education on the census," said State Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. "Our ability to count the hard to reach New Yorkers is critically important and I applaud the city's use of strong CBO's to partner to ensure every New Yorker is counted.   So much is dependent on the census including federal representation and federal funding and we need to do whatever is within our power to have culturally competent support in this effort."

"I am glad to see the city administration is making the necessary investment for Staten Island's future by allocating $1.5 million for the intended 2020 Census coordination efforts. The census is so much more than just a head count. It is a snapshot of the country that determines how congressional seats are apportioned, how state and federal dollars are distributed, where commerce, jobs and economic development is implemented. To do all that properly, the count must be accurate, and I look forward to supporting the work of the Staten Island awardees to ensure a successful outcome." said State Assembly Member Charles D. Fall.

"The United States Census is enormously important for assessing needs and defining representation and funding priorities for New York City residents on the federal level and in Congress. Local community-based organizations provide a great service in connecting to residents and ensuring that the Census is completed and submitted by those living here. I am glad to see that organizations in our community received funding and will be able to put that to good use. Increasing participation in the Census is fundamental to ensuring that New Yorkers are well represented in the future," said State Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick.

"This vital initiative to help ensure the most complete census count possible is essential to the quality of life in our city and state.  Critical federal funding is linked to the count, impacting measurably on community services, programs, and the vitality of our neighborhoods.  Invaluable demographic and related population data are gleaned from the collection, needed for basic policy development to address societal inequities.  We should all support this partnership of government, CUNY students and non- profit organizations to ensure that census matters receive priority attention," said State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.

"Census 2020 is only 90 days away, so to be frank, we are running out of time to what is the most important action of our decade. The organizations for my district named in this announcement are more than deserving of the resources made available by the Census Complete Count Fund and are committed to increasing participation in one of the most hard-to-count communities in New York State. However, I recognize that the need is far greater than the resources available and community partnerships are essential to the success of the Census in New York," said State Assembly Member Latrice Walker.

"The trusted voices of New York City's community organizations are our best partners when it comes to getting the word out about how important it is that everyone participate in the 2020 Census. These funds will help us spread the word that New Yorkers, their families and neighbors benefit when everyone participates," said Chief Demographer at the Department of City Planning Joseph Salvo.

"As pillars of knowledge and truth, community-based organizations are invaluable resources to their communities. By engaging these partners that have their eyes, ears, and hearts on the ground, we can tap into the vast network of active and engaged older adults," said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. "For the increasing number of older adults who rely on federally-funded services, getting New York City counted is personal."

"There is so much at stake for New York City in the 2020 Census, and that's why DYCD is proud to support the City's outreach efforts by engaging our funded community-based organizations and participants. The NYC Complete Count Fund will go a long way toward reaching every corner of the five boroughs and securing the City's fair share of federal funding and representation in Congress. DYCD looks forward to working with NYC Census 2020, Speaker Johnson, CUNY and all of our community partners to help make the 2020 Census really count for all New Yorkers," said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.

"The work of the Complete Count initiative will shape NYC communities for generations to come. At a time when too many voices are being silenced at other levels of government, this is an important opportunity to inspire all New Yorkers to help determine the kinds of resources and representation their communities deserve," said Commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit Marco A. Carrión. "I have seen the direct impact that community-based organizations make in our communities, especially in their ability to lift up and serve the full diversity of New Yorkers. I am very familiar with many of the organizations selected by the NYC Complete Count Fund. The passion and purpose with which they provide services and the level of trust they have earned in their own communities will help ensure that New Yorkers will be engaged to complete the Census."

"These vital investments in our community partners will help ensure all New Yorkers are counted," said Director of the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit Omar Khan. "I am proud that PEU is working closely with the Census to organize an outreach campaign that will reach all New Yorkers."

"Our hospitals and patient care sites are a part of so many communities across New York City, and we're proud to be a part of the City's efforts to ensure all New Yorkers participate in the 2020 Census. We look forward to partnering with these local community-based organizations to help ensure every New Yorker is counted," said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Dr. Mitchell Katz.

"Trusted, community-based organizations are terrific partners to make sure New Yorkers are counted," said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "An accurate census provides public health professionals with important population statistics as well as information on things such as disabilities, fertility, insurance coverage and health care access—all of which we need to gauge the health of the nation. I am grateful to the fund and the local groups that will protect our city's fair share."

"New York City has a lot riding on the 2020 Census – and all of us, including the cultural sector, must work together to ensure that every New Yorker gets counted," said Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. "The Complete Count Fund has recognized the importance of community-based nonprofits within NYC's neighborhoods. It's especially exciting to see that several grants have gone to arts and culture organizations, which are uniquely positioned to creatively inform, inspire, and activate residents all across our diverse city around participation in the Census this spring."

"From education to mobilization in more than 80 languages, the work of these carefully selected community-based organizations will be critical to ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of background or immigration status, are engaged in the Census," said Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Bitta Mostofi. "Those awarded know our diverse communities best and are the critical trusted voices to spread the City's message across every neighborhood: it is not only our right to get counted, but our communities deserve to be seen and heard!"

"One of the most important factors in serving New Yorkers is knowing the intricacies of the communities we serve," said Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis. "An accurate census count means a deeper understanding of the changing demographics of our city, enabling us to better serve people through outreach, language-specific programming, and culturally relevant communication and events. None of this can happen without the necessary resources, and New York City is working to elevate the resources that already exist within its diverse communities to multiply their impact.

"Making sure New Yorkers are seen and heard is our collective responsibility. Resources from the NYC Complete Count Fund to community-based organizations are vital to reversing the undercounting of communities. And responding to the 2020 Census is one way that every New Yorker can get civically engaged," said Chair and Executive Director of the Civic Engagement Commission Dr. Sarah Sayeed. "Remind your family, friends and neighbors that there is strength in numbers and fair representation for our City is in our hands."

"Making sure all New Yorkers are counted is critical to the future of our democracy. Efforts such as the NYC Complete Count Fund, the Office of the Mayor, the City Council, and CUNY are leading by example through robust partnerships with front-line community-based organizations in neighborhoods most at risk of being undercounted. DemocracyNYC celebrates the grantees and salutes the champions who made these awards possible," said Chief Democracy Officer Rini Fonseca-Sabune.

"As the Census 2020 approaches it is crucial to ensure that vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities, senior citizens, immigrants, and those facing housing instability are counted so we receive adequate resources to provide the services they need," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. "The organizations that are receiving awards from the NYC Complete Count Fund play a crucial role in spreading vital information to these populations in the communities where they live, in the language they speak to help increase participation and to minimize damaging undercounting."

"Trusted, community-based organizations are terrific partners to make sure New Yorkers are counted," said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "An accurate census provides public health professionals with important population statistics as well as information on things such as disabilities, fertility, insurance coverage and health care access—all of which we need to gauge the health of the nation. I am grateful to the fund and the local groups that will protect our city's fair share."

"The Census plays a critical role in our democracy, determining political representation and the distribution of federal funding for New Yorkers. Public libraries—trusted institutions and an essential part of civic life in every New York City neighborhood—will play a key role ensuring everyone is counted. As 2020 approaches, we look forward to working with community partners in every borough to leverage the City's $1.4 million investment in our systems to make the Census a success," said Linda E. Johnson (Brooklyn), Anthony W. Marx (New York), and Dennis M. Walcott (Queens), the presidents of the city's three public library systems.

"Community-based organizations work tirelessly on the front lines of our city's neighborhoods. Equipped with their community's trust, they are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between New York's most undercounted populations and the influence the 2020 Census has on the programs and services they rely on that make a real difference in their lives," said Executive Vice President of the Association for a Better New York Melva Miller. "We applaud the Mayor and City Council for providing significant resources to support these organizations as they help all New Yorkers get every penny we deserve from the federal government."

"It's clear that New York City is well-aware of what's at stake and what it will take to ensure that every New Yorker participates in the 2020 Census. The City's unprecedented investment in community-based organizations provides a timely lifeline to groups who will be ready to get out the count quickly and efficiently as a result of the pre-planning that the City did alongside groups like ours. We thank Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Johnson, Councilmembers Carlos Menchaca and Carlina Rivera, as well as CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez for their landmark investment in census education and organizing," said Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and coordinator of NY Counts 2020 Steve Choi.

"New York City's Complete Count Fund is nothing short of historic. The investment of these significant dollars into more than 150 different organizations recognizes the beauty of the diversity of New York and ensures that all communities will be equipped and empowered to be more fairly and accurately counted," said President and CEO of the United Way of NYC Sheena Wright. "UWNYC could not be prouder and more pleased to partner with the Mayor's Office and the City Council on this important initiative that will have a significant impact on the entire City of New York over the next decade."

"Today's important announcement marks a critical step to ensure every single member of our community gets counted," said Deputy Director of Make the Road New York Theo Oshiro. "Immigrant communities and communities of color who we represent are often the hardest to count and require concerted outreach from trusted messengers to achieve a full, fair count.  Over the last month, we have had conversations with more than a thousand community members about the Census, helped answer their questions, and got them to commit to responding to the Census. Following today's announcement, we look forward to educating thousands more community members across New York City."

"This investment from the Mayor, City Council, and CUNY, through the Complete Count Fund, is a critical step in ensuring a full and complete count," said President & CEO of Community Resource Exchange Katie Leonberger. "Nonprofits and community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to help the City achieve an accurate count. They are a trusted information source within their communities, and many will provide digital access to the Census for residents who may not have it at home. As a Citywide Partner, we are privileged to work with NYC Census 2020 and these awardee organizations as we help them incorporate Census outreach and education into their daily work." 

"This historic investment in the 2020 Census count by the Mayor and the City Council in the trusted voices of undercounted communities represents the commitment by our city leaders to ensure all residents of New York City have a voice at the table," said Executive Director of the Asian American Federation Jo-Ann Yoo. "We share in the City's goal of building on this investment to increase participation of all communities in the civic life of our great city."

"This is the moment we've been waiting for! An accurate census count will ensure that NYC reaps the rewards of this epic mobilization effort not only in federal funding and fair representation — but in improved public health, increased neighborhood wealth, and equity over the next ten years. It is also our once-in-a-decade chance to rally ALL New Yorkers to mobilize for justice, for democracy, and for action — now, and into the future," said Hester Street Co-Executive Director Betsy MacLean.

"The Mayor and the City Council have taken a mighty step towards upholding our collective responsibility to a strong city for all with their forward-thinking Census 2020 complete count effort," said CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) Jennifer Jones Austin. "The impact of an undercount will be felt disproportionately by those who can least afford it – low-income, minority and immigrant communities. It threatens to be yet another take down of the poor and those struggling to make their way. With these funds, the Mayor and the City Council have embraced a critical truth about out city: that working together, in our diverse communities, yet speaking with one voice, we can lift all New Yorkers, and counter the prevailing headwinds of small-mindedness and inequity. FPWA is proud to be a partner in working to achieve New York City's most complete count ever."

"Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing racial group in the nation, across the state, and here in New York City. The 2020 Census determines financial resources and political representation for every New Yorker, and an accurate count ensures that AAPI, immigrant, and low-income New Yorkers are fairly included," said President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Wayne Ho. "CPC celebrates this historic and unique partnership with the Mayor's Office, City Council, NYC Census Office, and CUNY to ensure not only that every New Yorker not only feels empowered to self-respond on the Census but also that trusted community partners can provide linguistically appropriate and culturally competent environments for New Yorkers to safely be counted."

"Our Census Partners are the trusted voices in sharing the message that the 2020 Census is safe to participate, easy to complete, and important for their family, neighbors, and community," said U.S. Census Bureau New York Regional Office Director Jeff Behler. Today we congratulate New York City Leadership, the 2020 New York City Census office, and the community-based organizations receiving these additional resources to support Census efforts.  We look forward to the great work and successes leading up to the count and by working in partnership we can ensure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. What we do together will shape our future for the next ten years."

About NYC Census 2020

NYC Census 2020 was established as a first-of-its-kind organizing initiative by Mayor de Blasio in January 2019 to ensure a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers in the 2020 Census. The program is built on four pillars: (1) a community-based awards program, The New York City Complete Count Fund; (2) an in-house "Get Out the Count" field campaign; (3) an innovative, multi-lingual, tailored messaging and marketing; as well as (4) an in-depth Agency and Partnerships engagement plan that seeks to leverage the power of the City's 350,000-strong workforce and the city's major institutions, including libraries, hospitals, faith-based, cultural institutions, and higher educational institutions, and more, to communicate with New Yorkers about the critical importance of census participation

Media Contact
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Media Contact

NYC Census 2020:
(347) 698-0426

Media Contact

City Council:
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