Governor Paterson Announces $2 Million In Grants For Community Groups, Local Governments To Ensure Every New Yorker Is Counted In The 2010 Census

Press Release

Date: Dec. 31, 2009
Issues: Transportation

Funds Targeted Towards Underrepresented and Hard-to-Count Communities

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that 31 grants totaling $2 million have been awarded to community groups and local governments that will assist the federal government in ensuring every New Yorker is counted during next year's census. The grants were appropriated as part of the 2009-10 State budget. They will fund public education, community outreach and other activities targeted at hard-to-count and low response rate populations for promoting awareness of the 2010 census, improving census questionnaire mail-back rates and encouraging cooperation with census takers.

"These grants will ensure that all New Yorkers are ready come March, when the Census Bureau sends out its questionnaire," Governor Paterson said. "I am looking forward to working with these organizations and municipalities, as well as with the many Complete Count Committees organized across the State, to help New York get its fair share of representation and federal dollars.

"I want to remind all New Yorkers that the census is safe, as responses are strictly confidential and protected by law; it's easy, as it only takes a few minutes to answer and return; and it's important, as census data affects funding and political representation for your community," the Governor added.

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The grants fund two categories: outreach and mobilization and media campaigns. Outreach and mobilization activities can take many forms, including distribution of literature, door--to--door conversations and training community members to advocate for census participation or to assist hard--to--count populations in filling out the census questionnaire. Media campaigns will promote census participation through print, broadcast and online media.

The 2010 Census is a nationwide effort to count the more than 310 million people living in the United States -- including the nearly 20 million residents of New York. Questionnaires will be mailed in mid-March and comprise just 10 questions that can be answered in less than 10 minutes.

The population of New York State, as determined by the 2010 census, will play a critical role in determining political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, the New York State Legislature and in New York's local governments. Information gathered through the census will also determine how the federal government distributes more than $400 billion each year back to the states for critical programs such as education, housing and community development, health care and transportation.

State, local and tribal governments use census information for planning and to allocate funds for new school construction, libraries and other public buildings, highway safety and public transportation systems, new roads and bridges, the location of police and fire departments and many other projects.

Earlier this year, the Governor signed Executive Order No. 30, establishing the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee to raise awareness of the census and maximize the participation of all New Yorkers. The New York Census Action Council, chaired by Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez, will coordinate the Committee's work.

For more information on the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee, please visit http://census2010.ny.gov.

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