Opinion

New York needs the resources for an accurate 2020 census

Shutterstock

Good policy is born out of good data. This is never truer than when it comes to counting those living in America – a process mandated by our Constitution and performed once a decade by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Collecting demographic information gives policymakers the insight needed to better understand communities and to create policies that meet our country’s needs. When it comes to the Census, if you’re not counted, you essentially do not exist in the eyes of our government.

For New York City residents, the 2020 census will be critical. It is an opportunity to correct serious miscalculations from the last Census – mistakes that left tens of thousands of New Yorkers uncounted, and therefore undervalued in the eyes of the federal government. These mistakes grew out of problems with field operations in two local census offices in Brooklyn and Queens that left many housing units erroneously classified as vacant when, in fact, hard-working men and women and their families lived there.

RELATED: Who's out to get Joe Crowley?

Undercounting residents in those districts translated into real losses for Brooklyn and Queens residents. For every person not counted in New York City, the state received less than its fair share of the $400 billion distributed annually by the federal government. That means less money for students and our schools, less money for public transit and less money for community improvements – critical resources New Yorkers rely on every day.

It also means less representation for New Yorkers in Congress. Undercounting the state’s population could result in fewer representatives than New Yorkers are entitled to. This would have a ripple effect on the drawing of political districts at all levels of government throughout the city and state, fueling partisan imbalances that have made governing difficult in the past few years. 

This is why attention must be paid to the Census now. While the formal process doesn’t begin until 2020, there is important groundwork to be done that will ensure everyone living in America will be accurately counted.

And there are troubling signs that indicate the Census Bureau is not preparing for 2020 adequately. The bureau has proposed delayed openings for local census offices, canceling tests to validate new procedures and cutting public communication and engagement tools. This all stems from anticipated cuts in President Trump’s budget that fail to value the importance of an accurate Census.

RELATED: Key 2017 City Council primary races by district

This is not something we, as your elected officials, can stand for. Recently, we wrote to President Trump’s administration demanding that more attention be paid to how the Census Bureau is staffing up and the policies that will eventually be put in place to count us all. We’re also raising alarm bells about recent reports that the Trump Administration will not include data collection on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, a troubling move considering the unique challenges members of those communities face.

The United States of America is defined by the people living within its borders, and we should all be proud that our communities are diverse – made up of individuals with different backgrounds, races, ethnicities and lifestyles. That diversity is indeed what makes America so great.

We need a Census that truly understands our communities and ensures the needs of all of us are met. That can only happen when the federal government recognizes both the importance of data collection and provides the resources needed to carry out a successful Census.

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley represents New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Queens and the Bronx. U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke represents New York's 9th Congressional District. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.