New York State Census Equity Fund Awards $1.4 Million to Community Organizations for 2020 Census Outreach

Thursday, December 5, 2019

New York State Census Equity Fund Awards $1.4 Million to Community Organizations for 2020 Census Outreach

(December 5, 2019) NEW YORK, NY – The New York State Census Equity Fund today announced its second round of grants, totaling $1,437,000, to 56 organizations to support efforts across the state to reach hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census.

Historically, some populations—including communities of color, low-income households, immigrants, rural households, and young children—have been undercounted in the census. And nonpartisan experts agree that getting an accurate count in 2020 will be especially difficult.

The Fund, which is housed at The New York Community Trust, brings together local, regional, and national foundations and individual donors to support a diverse array of projects that span from western New York to Long Island. Representatives from foundations across the state advise on the Fund’s grantmaking in their areas.

“We are only four months away from the April 1 start of the census count. This round of grants to organizations deeply embedded in their communities will go a long way to ensure every New York resident knows why responding to the census is critical to all New Yorkers. These groups will spread the word that participation is essential for effective distribution of resources and fair representation in government,” said Patricia A. Swann, senior program officer at The New York Community Trust.

For the first time, census data will be collected primarily online, which will help manage costs and make it easier for those with access to the internet to participate. But the new format also will make it harder for people without reliable internet access, most of whom live in areas that are already historically undercounted. There are also concerns that immigrants and their families will be afraid to participate in the census—the result of high-profile, aggressive efforts by the federal government to identify and deport undocumented immigrants.

Census experts agree that maximizing self-response rates before the period when federal enumerators go door-to-door seeking information is the best way to achieve an accurate count. With that in mind, this coalition of funders has joined forces with individual donors to help New York State address these looming challenges...

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