New York, Be Counted!

This Friday, April 16th, is the deadline for mailing in your US Census form. If you haven’t yet, please take 10 minutes to fill out the form and mail it back. It’s only 10 quick questions and the information is guaranteed by law to be confidential. It’s crucial that all New Yorkers are counted.

The purpose of the Census is more than just to count the number of people that are in our country. The data is also used to determine how many congressional representatives each state gets as well as the allotment of federal funding for our communities. For every New Yorker the Census doesn’t count, NY loses thousands of dollars in federal funding for our local hospitals, schools, police and firefighters, public housing, food stamps, health care, etc. Tell your friends and neighbors to return their census forms so we get our fair share from Washington. In this economy, it’s so important that our families get the federal dollars they so desperately need.

So far, New York is lagging well behind the national average for participation rates. As of today, the national participation rate is 65%; New York’s, by contrast, is 59%, better only than New Mexico, West Virginia and Louisiana. New York City has particularly low participation rates:

New York County: 57%

Bronx County: 53%

Queens County: 50%

Kings County: 45%

You can see where your community stands at this interactive map.

Please spread the word to your friends and family today to let them know how crucial it is to return their Census forms and be counted.

If you haven’t received a Census form at all, don’t worry, starting today you can call 1-866-872-6868 to submit your information over the phone or find out where to pick up a Be Counted questionnaire.

Also, please be aware of these important resources:

Census 2010 main site: http://2010.census.gov/2010census

Census 2010 FAQs: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/questions.php

Census 2010 Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/USCensusBureau

You can also call my office if you have any questions at (212) 688-6262.

If you’re not able to get your form in, Census takers will be following up in person to households that haven’t responded by mail. Please just be sure to be counted.

In 2000, 200,000 New Yorkers went uncounted costing the state $3.6 billion in federal dollars.

Let’s not make the same mistake this year.

New York, let’s be counted!

Follow Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@SenGillibrand

[MYD is happy to have this guest post from New York's Junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, cross-posted with Huffington Post]

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