Census count to end Friday; community organizations make final outreach push

Worker or volunteer with NYC Census reaching out to people to fill out the census.
Worker or volunteer with NYC Census reaching out to people to fill out the census.
Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office
The recent Supreme Court decision only leaves two days for New York to boost its count in the census.

Census count to end Friday; community organizations make final outreach push

Nonprofits and city officials say losing another two weeks of the decennial count is a loss for New Yorkers.
October 15, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Trump administration can move forward with ending the 2020 Census on Oct. 15, leaving only one more day for New York to boost its response rate.

Plaintiffs had been trying to ensure the census would continue through the end of the month in order to reach more residents and get a more accurate count.

“Losing those two weeks was critical,” Julie Menin, director of New York City’s census initiatives, said on Wednesday. “Every single day we were moving the numbers upward.” In the past two weeks alone, the city and its network of community organizations held 100 events promoting the census. 

“Even yesterday, in the middle of the decision, our team was able to help dozens of people fill out the census form,” said Antonio Alarcón, census coordinator at Make the Road New York. 

This decision means New Yorkers will only have until Oct. 15 at 6 a.m. to finish responding to the census online. Phone responses “will be available for its regularly scheduled time,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau, starting at 7 a.m. and running throughout the day. Any responses sent by mail must be postmarked by Oct. 15.

The statewide self-response rate to the census was 63.9% as of Tuesday, about three percentage points behind the national average. New York City’s rate was at 61.5%, close to its level of response in 2010. Although city officials aiming to boost the count had been hoping to increase the level of response compared with 2010, they said the response rate was impressive given the obstacles the pandemic has created.

Community organizations are now hosting a final round of events this week to reach any people who still haven’t participated in the census.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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