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Won’t count them out: Sunset Park civic gurus lay out plan to ensure area immigrants participate in census

Brooklyn Paper
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Sunset Park civic gurus recently kicked off a grass-roots effort to encourage area immigrants to participate in the looming 2020 Census.

Leaders of Community Board 7 on Jan. 23 held the inaugural meeting of its newly formed Census Committee, whose officers will work to encourage members of the district’s large Asian-American and Hispanic populations to participate in the survey, despite fears that it may still include a citizenship question, and the Trump Administra­tion’s general hostility towards immigrants.

An accurate count is critical to ensuring the community continues to receive its fair share of federal funding and representation, according to the chairman of the board’s Immigration Committee.

“This area needs services, and to get those services we need to ensure everyone’s counted,” said Jimmy Li.

Residents, community-board members, and reps for state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D–Sunset Park) and Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) — who is heading up a census task force in Council — came out for the debut session, where attendees brainstormed mobilization plans.

Proposals included hosting workshops to educate immigrant residents on their rights and the importance of the survey, requisitioning computer labs at local libraries and schools where locals can complete the largely online survey, and enlisting faith leaders to use their pulpits to preach the necessity of participating in the census.

The Feds rely on information culled from the national head count to determine where to invest billions in annual state funding, and how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives, where New York State is already expected to lose up to two pols due to population loss, according to a 2018 report published by
Election Data Services.

Members of immigrant communities have traditionally shown more of a reluctance to participate in the census, and the lingering threat of a potential citizenship question — which a federal judge ruled against this month, prompting the Trump Administration to immediately appeal the decision — will likely further dissuade those locals from participating as long as it hangs over their heads, according to a Sunset Parker.

“I think the citizenship question is a part of a larger pattern,” Jorge Muñiz said at the meeting. “The administration is trying very hard to spread fear amongst immigrant communities. People are understandably skeptical anytime the federal government is reaching out and trying to collect information.”

But the CB7 Census Committee is moving full speed ahead with its organizing efforts even as that legal battle plays out in court, because its members want to be prepared for a final ruling that may not go in many of their neighbors favors, according to its chairwoman.

“We need to prepare for the worst case scenario,” said Rovika Rajkishun. “We can’t wait and then scramble at the last minute.”

The committee will host monthly meetings as it continues to shape its agenda, and encourages all locals in its district to attend the sessions, Rajkishun said.

And CB7 members aren’t the only ones working to ensure an accurate census count.

Borough President Adams is forging ahead with his own borough-wide awareness effort through his recently formed Brooklyn Complete Count Committee, which will work with civic gurus across Kings County to encourage participation.

For information about upcoming CB7 Census Committee meetings, visit the panel’s website at www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb7.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 4:27 pm, January 30, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

A voice of reason from Reality says:
“Trump administrations general hostility towards immigrants”.???? LIES. Trump has no problems with LEGAL immigrants.why do liberals love claiming that Republicans are against immigrants? No other country just let’s people waltz in to their country and partake in voting, free handouts, healthcare etc... America is the greatest country that the left wants to turn into a third world dump. Just look at SF. We need to help our own citizens before helping these illegals who only want free handouts. They aren’t escaping violence or starvation. Have you seen the pics of these caravans? They are well-dressed and well fed. Nice cell phones they have! We can not afford to take care of the world until we clean up our own country first. Only deranged, mentally ill leftists would want open borders with people bringing in drugs, diseases and criminality. Sanctuary cities are a big draw for people who have committed crimes and want to escape the threat of imprisonment in their home countries. What fools Democrats are. The globalist elite Dems are using their useful idiots to stay in power by throwing around the term ‘racism’ any chance they get. They lie and the media and Hollywood are happy to oblige. Enough!
Jan. 27, 1:06 pm
You dummy says:
A voice of reason from Reality sounds like your typical retarded trump supporter. No need to say anything else.
Jan. 27, 10:26 pm
Rosie O’donnell-Cortez from Pyongyang says:
Yeah, no need to say anything else because you have nothing intelligent to add. Typical that you resort to name calling and handicap slurs. You are exactly the uninformed democrat pawn that unfortunately infects the outer boroughs. Good job helping out your globalist masters!
Jan. 28, 8:12 am
Tyler from pps says:
"Just look at SF." Do you even know what that means? Also, why would people escaping violence be in rags and not have things like cell phones? It's this weird bizzaro world mindset that prevents any rational discourse. Were people displaced all around Europe in WWII due to violence all of a sudden filthy poor beggars? Or were they well-dressed and well-fed, just in need of sanctuary? Oh, and the "open borders" garbage. Just stop with that. Repeating this stupid talking point just makes you sound dim.
Jan. 28, 1:49 pm
Midge from Mill Basin says:
No undocumented New Yorkers will answer the Census. Very few legal residents, green card holders, and longtime citizens who may have undocumented family members, tenants or roommates will. I do not fit in these categories, but I will not answer the Census, either. There was a big undercount in Brooklyn in 2010--mostly because white hipsters wouldn't answer the Census. Now they will be joined by many others. The Trump administration is just trying to get information to deport, harass and demonize New Yorkers. We will not cooperate with evil. As for the racists who regularly post their excrement here, no death is too painful for them.
Jan. 28, 2:33 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Midge, I get your motivation behind not responding to the census... but there are big repercussions for under-counting and that is representation and resource allocation! If New York shows few people, we'll get fewer seats in the House of Representatives and guess who would get them instead? The census says we have fewer people, then we will get a smaller cut of federal resources (at least those that are based on census data). This can be real things like the number and location of Social Security offices in the city and state. We need to encourage people to complete the census, not discourage them.
Jan. 28, 4:35 pm
Whoopi Goldfarb from L’chaim says:
Tyler and Midge are both stage 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome. Also, why does that Midge nutcase always threaten people with death? How does this commie rag allow that type of talk? That’s what commie/Marxists like to do with their opposition- kill!
Jan. 28, 6:36 pm
Maria Laura Espinoza from Sunset Park says:
If the plan is informed everyone, you should start doing in different languages.
Feb. 8, 1:44 pm

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