Residents of the heavily immigrant neighborhood of East Flatbush are being urged to overcome their skepticism and participate in the 2010 Census.
It is urgently important that members of the community allow themselves to be counted, stress advocates, because Census data is utilized to determine both representation and funding.
At the December meeting of Community Board 17, which was held in the gymnasium at St. Therese of Lisieux, Troy Avenue and Avenue D, Sherif Fraser, the board’s district manager went over the critical nature of the count.
“It is extremely important that everyone living in East Flatbush be counted,” emphasized Fraser, who made it clear, “Immigration status as nothing to do with it. It’s about resources coming into the community.
“We complain so many times, we are not getting funding for this, we’re not getting funding for that,” Fraser went on. “ It depends on the count.”
Among the programs and services whose funding in determined in part by Census date are health care, education, public transportation, infrastructure improvements, housing and community development. Legislative district lines are also redrawn based on Census data, and the number of federal representatives will be adjusted to reflect the most recent Census data.
CB 17 is part of the Complete Count Committee.
Census Day is April 1, 2010. Prior to that date, questionnaires will be distributed by mail to area residents. Census forms will also be available in March and April at a variety of public locations, for those households that did not receive one. Follow-up will be conducted through August, 2010, with Census employees going door to door as necessary to make sure that everyone is counted, in order to determine how to distribute upwards of $400 billion in federal funds, annually.
As many as 3.3 million people are estimated not to have been counted nationwide during the 2000 Census. Statewide, according to Governor David Paterson, more than 202,000 people were not counted in the 2000 Census.In New York City, it is estimated that a whopping $850 million in federal funding was lost over a 10-year period because of population undercounts, which particularly affect neighborhoods with large immigrant populations.
With 10 questions, the Census should take only about 10 minutes to complete, but that 10 minutes can mean approximately $30,000 in resources directed to local governments for every man, woman and child who is counted.
Personal information gathered during the Census is not shared with other government agencies.
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