En Español Know Your Rights
Source: Queens Gazette
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Marshall Urges All Queens Residents To Be Counted In 2010 Census

 


With an
eye toward getting the census count in Queens
next year as accurate as possible, Borough President Helen Marshall has
appointed a Complete Count Committee. It met for the first time last week at
Borough Hall in Kew
Gardens
.

 


Marshall was joined at the meeting by Ligia Jaquez, U.S. Census Bureau Deputy
Regional Director and Stacey Cumberbatch, NYC Census 2010 coordinator.

 


Former
Congressmember Rev. Floyd Flake of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, spoke on
the importance of the 2010 Census. Other speakers included
Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, a grassroots organization that formulates strategies to combat
inequality and economic injustice, and S.I. Jung, president of the Munkwon Center
for Community Action in Flushing.

 


Stressing
the importance of an accurate census count for Queens, Marshall said in her
opening remarks, “The 2010 Census will determine our country’s representation
in the U.S. Congress and state legislature for the next 10 years and help to
determine where to allocate more than $300 billion in federal funding for major
services, including health care, education and transportation.”

 


According
to past practice, the Census Bureau counts every person, citizens and
noncitizens alike. But presently in Congress there is a debate going on over
whether that practice will continue or noncitizens will not be counted.

In a
recent New York Times story, it was reported that a Republican senator
has proposed counting only U.S.
citizens when reapportioning Congress, which would hurt states with high
populations of non citizens. Under the GOP proposal, New York would lose one seat, the story
said.

 


At
Marshall’s meeting, according to her news release, Jaquez pointed out,” A key
component of the Complete Count Committee’s efforts is to allay fear,
particularly among undocumented immigrants and people living in overcrowded
housing, and reinforce that under federal law, the personal information
collected by the Census Bureau is entirely confidential and cannot be shared
with any federal, state or city agency.”

 


But, Marshall noted, “Even when we lower the fear ratio, here
in Queens— America’s
most diverse county—we face unique challenges fueled by a multitude of
languages spoken in a multicultural society.”

 


Speaking
on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cumberbatch thanked Marshall for focusing on the critically
important issue of the 2010 Census. “The NYC 2010 Census office looks forward
to working with her office and the Complete Count Committee to ensure that all Queens residents are fully and accurately counted in the
2010 Census,” she said.

 


Marshall
pointed out that 10 years ago, in the 2000 Census, the borough’s response to a
mail-in questionnaire was a meager 54 percent, 13 percent below the national
average of 67 percent.

 


“Today,
to help ensure that this does not happen again, I have assembled a committee of
trusted and respected leaders who will share outreach strategies and, among
other things, create a multi-lingual speakers bureau to spread the word of how
important the census is in all our futures,” she added.

 


She
thanked the U.S. Census Bureau, the NYC Census Coordinator and all the other
community leaders in attendance for their combined efforts to raise the number
of residents who will be counted in the 2010 Census.

 


Marshall concluded by noting that
although census forms, “the shortest in the history of the Census Bureau”, will
not be arriving in mailboxes until March 1, “I call on every Queens
resident to stand up and be counted in the 2010 Census.”

 


In a related development, Marshall
said that the U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring individuals for a wide
range of positions, including census takers, crew leaders and census clerks.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must pass a written test.
Anyone interested can call 866-861-2010 or 347-967-4020, Monday through Friday between
5 and 9 p.m. for more information or on weekends between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.