EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census

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Categories: Editorial, Opinion

In the past few weeks, we’ve given you many reasons why you should complete the census form.

Actually, we’ve given you hundreds of thousands of reasons, even millions.

If you’ve been thinking about filling out your census form but putting it off for some reason, your time is up.

Because of a persistent effort by the Trump administration to undercount minority, ethnic and immigrant populations, a complicit Supreme Court has undercut the counting process prematurely.

Instead of allowing it to conclude at the end of the month as planned, or allowing an extension to accommodate delays due to the coronavirus, the census count will end today. Today. T-O-D-A-Y.

The importance of filling out the census form basically comes down to two factors: government representation and federal funding.

The more people who are counted in New York, the more representation the state will have in Congress and therefore the more influence the state can have over legislation and funding. The accuracy of the census also helps ensure that legislative boundaries are drawn accurately so as to ensure fair representation for residents within them.

With an accurate count of residents, the federal government more accurately can distribute $1.5 trillion in federal funds allocated each year to the places most in need, often urban areas and areas with large populations of minorities and senior citizens.

The formula helps determine the amount of money a community receives, for instance, for Community Development Block Grants and other programs that support programs for everyone from the poor to the elderly. An accurate count also gives businesses accurate information upon which to base their decisions.

Setting the deadline for completing the census earlier than anticipated has made it more likely that communities will be undercounted. Don’t let it happen.

Fill out your census form.

You can do it in about 10 minutes online. (Because they have to count Hawaii, we here in New York actually have until 5:59 a.m. on Friday to fill out the online form.)

Visit: https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html to access the online form. That website also will give you other information you need and provide answers to your questions.

If you’re planning to mail in your census form, they have to be postmarked by today. You also can respond by phone by calling 844-330-2020 until 11 p.m. today. Spanish speakers may call 844-468-2020.

This is so important, to your community, to your neighbors, to our poor and elderly. Fill it out. Today is the last day.

 

One Comment

JAMES ECCLES

10 minutes? That’s milking it. As for deadlines, people have had half the year to fill the thing out. If they haven’t managed to find the time by now, I suspect another six months wouldn’t matter.

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