Maximize the census self-response rate in 2020
Help New Yorkers complete the census form
Work to ensure confidentiality and privacy protections under Title 13 of the United States Code
ABNY and the Census
The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the constant growth and renewal of New York City’s people, businesses, and communities. Created in response to the New York City fiscal crisis in the 1970’s, ABNY continues to bring together leaders from government, business, labor, non-profit, education, healthcare, sports and entertainment, and tourism to solve the problems of the day and keep the city moving forward.
Over the years, ABNY has become active in improving virtually every area of municipal life from transportation, to economic development, to education. During the early part of 2018, ABNY’s leadership identified the 2020 Census as a priority for the organization and the City of New York. ABNY has created a Census 2020 work plan led by an organizing and action committee comprised of corporate, non-profit, community, and union leaders. The ABNY Work Plan is based on the understanding that ABNY’s role is to support and supplement census efforts underway by the US Census Bureau, the State of New York and City of New York, informed by the advocacy and organizing work of New York Counts 2020, and in coordination with all Census 2020 stakeholders.
Leading the Charge
Leading the Charge
Planning in Action
Planning in Action
The US Census in 2020
Every ten years, the U.S. Constitution mandates a count of every person in the United States. This count, called the Decennial Census, is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the next one will happen in 2020. The data collected by the census determines the number of seats each State has in the U.S. House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. The decennial census is also used to distribute over $800 billion dollars for critical federal programs nationwide, almost $74 billion to New York State. The decennial census is the largest mobilization and operation conducted in the United States and requires years of research, planning, and development of methods and infrastructure to ensure an accurate and complete count. But the upcoming census has some changes that could impact our count.
Paper Based to Online Based
In 2020, the Census Bureau will be encouraging U.S. residents to complete the census questionnaire online for the first time. This provides opportunities to utilize cost-effective, internet-based tactics to encourage early participation. People will be able to fill out the form anywhere and real-time reporting will be available on how well people are responding. However, this new online method presents challenges including overcoming New York’s significant digital divide. Many New Yorkers either do not have computers at home or do not have access to reliable broadband. Paper and phone options will still be available, but an online form is bound to cause some confusion.
Reduction in Census Bureau Offices and Staffing
In anticipation of the efficiencies in the use of technology, the U.S. Census Bureau has reduced staffing resources significantly. Regional census centers and area census offices have been cut in half and there are almost 1,000 less census field staff nationwide.
The Proposed Citizenship Question
The U.S. Department of Commerce proposed adding a question about citizenship on the 2020 decennial census and, although struck down by the Federal and Supreme Courts of the United States, the discussion in American politics has had profound implications for noncitizens and minority residents. The controversy surrounding the inclusion of the citizenship question is expected to dramatically reduce response rates to the census.