In the midst of Coronavirus and societal unrest happening right now, the 2020 Census is understandably the last thing on the minds of most people.
In fact, as of July 13, 2020, only 58.8% of residents in New York’s 13th Congressional district and 62% of people nationwide have completed it since it kicked off in mid-March.
Still, it is vital that everyone in New York’s 13th congressional district take 10 minutes to fill it out. Here’s why.
The solutions to the problems we are currently facing will be determined by who has power and how money is allocated to communities across the country. The Census is critical in determining both.
The 2020 Census will determine how many congressional seats each state receives and how federal funding will be allocated over the next decade as we recover from the current pandemic, strive to make needed changes, and build resilience against future crises.
It will also determine how $1.5 trillion dollars in federal funding is allocated over the next 10 years for our hospitals, schools, small business development, and infrastructure projects like road construction and repairs.
In fact, the U.S. Congress has acted over the course of the past few months to allocate trillions of dollars of funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The bills dictating who receives funding were written by Members of Congress whose seats are tied to the results of the Census and much of the funding in the bills was allocated based on the results of the Census.
An undercount in our community could mean missing out on millions of dollars in the future at a time when more investments are needed. Estimates have shown that communities may lose up to $3,000 in funding for every single person that doesn’t complete the 2020 Census. That adds up quickly.
Because the Census is also used to determine the allocation of Congressional seats, an undercount in New York may lead to fewer Members of Congress representing our state. That means that the priorities of New Yorkers won’t be as well represented in our nation’s capital.
10 minutes is all it takes to positively impact our communities and families throughout the district, so they have the resources to live healthy and prosperous lives.
Please do your part by completing your Census at my2020Census.gov.
Adriano Espaillat represents the 13th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. It comprises Upper Manhattan and parts of the West Bronx. For more, please visit espaillat.house.gov or follow him at @RepEspaillat.