ABNY, City Parks Foundation And Others Launch SummerStage Census Awareness Campaign

July 16, 2019

Today the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) announced that it has joined with City Parks Foundation and community partners to conduct outreach about the 2020 United States census.

This all will happen at Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage concerts throughout New York City this summer.The effort is one of a variety of ways local leaders, community groups and ABNY’s Census 2020 for a Better New York committee are working to educate New Yorkers about the census and help ensure the most accurate census count possible in 2020.

Volunteers and staff from ABNY, the offices of local elected officials and community-based organizations will be onsite at more than two dozen SummerStage concerts to distribute information and answer questions about the 2020 census. People interested in volunteering to raise awareness about the census in their communities will be able to sign up with the help of tablets that were donated by Google in partnership with TechNYC.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival, and hosts more than more than 100 shows in 18 parks from June to October. The census outreach effort began last month at concerts in Brooklyn, and the locations include:

  • Brooklyn – Herbert Von King Park (June 20 – 23) and Betsy Head Park (June 27 – 29)
  • Queens – Springfield Park (July 5 – 7) and Queensbridge Park (July 11 – 14)
  • Staten Island – Corporal Thompson Park (July 18 – 21)
  • Bronx – Soundview Park (July 25 – 28) and Crotona Park (July 31 – August 3)
  • Manhattan – East River Park (August 8 – 11) and Marcus Garvey Park (August 14 – 18)

Organizations partnering with Census 2020 for a Better New York and City Parks Foundation on the SummerStage outreach include:

  • The US Census Bureau
  • Offices of the Borough Presidents of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx
  • NAACP – Brooklyn Branch and Youth Council
  • Catholic Charities
  • New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Community Voices Heard
  • Ocean Hill Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals
  • Queens Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • MinKwon Center
  • Chhaya Community Development Corporation
  • Brooklyn Community Board 16
  • Queens Community Board 4

“We are very proud to support census outreach at SummerStage through our work with the Association for a Better New York, local leaders, and community partners across the city,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “As a mission-based festival that strives for equity and inclusion, and one that relies on public spaces as our presenting platform, our concerts reach a very wide and diverse audience around the city. SummerStage concert-goers will only benefit from learning more about the census and ensuring that we have an accurate count.”

“While the Census is a national event, in order to be successful, the Census must be conducted at the local level,” said Jeff Behler, Director, New York Regional Office, U.S. Census Bureau. “Whether it be a paid Census employee or a volunteer, it is important that community members work and provide the much needed leadership in their local communities. We need trusted voices throughout NYC to share the Census message – the 2020 Census is safe, easy and important!”

“A Census undercount is something Queens simply cannot afford. This partnership between ABNY and City Parks Foundation will help raise awareness about the 2020 Census to the many attendees of this year’s SummerStage events throughout the boroughs,” said Queens Borough President Melinda R. Katz. “The Queens Complete Count Committee will partner in this effort at the slew of SummerStage events in Queens. Together, we can ensure that Queens is accurately counted.”

“It is important that we maximize participation in the 2020 Census in innovative ways, and this partnership between ABNY and the City Parks Foundation is exactly the kind of outreach we need to keep our city engaged on the upcoming Census,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This initiative will reach New Yorkers where they are, and I look forward to supporting this effort at SummerStage events throughout the coming months.”

“Brooklyn is considered the hardest to count of all 62 counties in New York State,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. It is so important that all Brooklynites are counted, because fair political representation and hundreds of billions of dollars are on the line. That’s why we launched the Brooklyn Complete Count committee, made up of 250 local organizations, to reach all Brooklyn residents for the upcoming Census. I applaud ABNY for their outreach efforts, and look forward to partnering with them to spread the word.”

“I strongly believe in order to achieve a complete and accurate count we must go to where the people live, work, play and relax during this summer—and that means getting out to our parks, concerts, SummerStage and sporting events,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Myself and the Manhattan Complete Count Committee are happy to partner with this effort, which will bring information about the census to the largest free outdoor performing arts festival in New York City and the many shows hosted in parks throughout the summer.”

“We’re proud to partner with ABNY and the City Parks Foundation in support of the SummerStage Census outreach campaign, an innovative tool that will help us to engage and educate New Yorkers in every borough,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Billions of federal dollars and political representation are at stake. NYC Labor stands in solidarity with communities across our City to ensure a fair and accurate decennial Census.”

“The Brooklyn Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is committed to ensuring that African descendant people are fully counted for the 2020 Census,” said Stefani Zinerman, Chair of Civic Engagement, Brooklyn Branch, NAACP. “We are excited to partner with A Better New York (ABNY) at SummerStage venues to encourage all residents to get counted, join a complete count committee and/or apply for census jobs. As the nation’s oldest and boldest civil rights organization, we are fully prepared to engage the hardest-to-count Brooklyn neighborhoods and fight the administration in an effort to receive our fair share of federal resources and political representation.”

“When every New Yorker is counted, every New Yorker benefits,” said Steven Rubenstein, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. “That’s why we are excited to help spread the word about participating in the census at free SummerStage concerts in all five boroughs this summer. All New Yorkers count, all deserve a voice, and we will all stand together for a better New York.”

In January 2018, ABNY launched a census organizing and action committee called Census 2020 for a Better New York, which is comprised of corporate, non-profit, community and union leaders, to help New York achieve the most accurate census count possible. The committee is co-chaired by Steven Rubenstein, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York; Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; and Carl Weisbrod, former Director of the New York City Department of City Planning. Melva M. Miller, former Queens Deputy Borough President, serves as Census 2020 for a Better New York’s Executive Vice President. A full list of Census 2020 for a Better New York committee members and more information about the effort is available here.

For over 40 years, ABNY has worked as a catalyst to bring business, political, labor, and non-profit leaders together to address problems facing the economic and social well-being of the city. Under the leadership of Steven Rubenstein and Executive Director Angela Sung Pinsky, the organization continues to carry out its mission by providing forums and programs that work to build a better New York.

At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building and education programs for all New Yorkers. Celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, we program in more than 400 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City and reach 300,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: thriving parks mean thriving communities.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents approximately 100 performances in 15-18 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 34 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. Capital One is the Title Sponsor of SummerStage. For more information, visit www.SummerStage.org.

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