Schenectady Complete Count
January 16, 2020
Mayor McCarthy Announces City of Schenectady 2020 Census Complete Count Committee
SCHENECTADY – Mayor Gary McCarthy announced the appointment of the City of Schenectady’s 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. The committee is comprised of local leaders and community organizations with the mission of increasing awareness and motivating all Schenectady residents to participate in the 2020 Census.
Census data is used for a variety of significant purposes, including the drawing state and federal legislative districts, school districts, determining eligibility for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans, forecasting future transportation needs, the annual distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funding to local communities, and much more.
“It is critically important that Schenectady receives a fair and accurate count in the upcoming 2020 Census,” Mayor McCarthy said. “We hope to utilize the local knowledge and expertise of each member of our committee in order to best implement a census awareness campaign – the success of which will require the involvement of every member of our community. We must ensure Schenectady counts.”
“The results of the 2020 Census will inform not just the extent of federal funding we receive for our schools, hospitals, and transportation systems, it shows us who we are,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “The United States of America was founded as a self-governing nation, a democratic republic of the people, by the people, and for the people. When our founders assigned us the awesome responsibility of counting every single person in our community, they were pushing us to ask ourselves important questions about who we are, what we need and how we will choose to live. We owe it to ourselves to deliver on this responsibility. My thanks to Mayor McCarthy for bringing this group together to form Schenectady’s 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, a vital step in assuring that we have the resources and representation we need and deserve according to our Constitution.”
The City of Schenectady’s Complete Count Committee is co-chaired by Pastor William Levering of the First Reformed Church and Pastor William Hamilton of the Friendship Baptist Church. In addition to local officials, educational institutions, and faith-based organizations, the committee also includes neighborhood associations and community groups, including Schenectady United Neighborhoods (SUN), the Schenectady NAACP, and the Guyanese American Association of Schenectady.
Over the next few months, organizations and members of the committee will be hosting events and distributing census related information to the community, as Census Day will be observed nationwide on April 1, 2020.
Members of the committee urged Schenectady residents to lookout for a mailing from the US Census Bureau in mid-March 2020 with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.
“This important effort tries to figure out who we are,” said Pastor William Levering. “We can best work for the common good, best serve each other, and know how to respect each other if we have a clear idea of who we are. Of course, it's more than numbers. But it's where we start.”
“Now is the time for all residents to stand together and be counted,” Pastor William Hamilton said. “A Complete Count ensures a brighter future for Our City, Our Community and every resident of Schenectady.”
“This might be the most important census ever for Schenectady’s neighborhoods, but the risk of an undercount is also greater than ever, thanks to increased reliance on the internet and fewer census workers,” said Tom Carey, President of SUN. “An undercount will mean our neighborhoods will be shortchanged on funding for everything from affordable housing to wastewater treatment. Our member associations stand ready to help every resident get counted. We look forward to working with our partners on the Complete Count Committee to reach this goal.”
Schenectady NAACP President Dr. Odo Butler said, “All hands on deck! The entire population of Schenectady and New York State must be counted, not just citizens. For many reasons, it is vitally important that everyone is counted. The official count helps to ensure fair political representation. It also provides the foundational basis for addressing disparities in voting, education, housing, employment, healthcare, transportation, redistricting, zoning and criminal justice. If residents go uncounted, it would mean fewer seats in Congress, fewer Electoral College votes, skewed legislative boundaries, and diminished enforcement of civil rights laws. Programs and services at risk include schools, hospitals, community centers, roads, transportation, and public safety departments. Marginalized communities will suffer if residents go uncounted.”
“It’s important that the information and data collected from the census is accurate as it impacts federal funding that the Schenectady City School District receives for training, technology and programming,” said Larry Spring, Superintendent of Schenectady City School District. “It also provides critical information that we use for forecasting enrollment and critical planning in our district. The 2020 Census presents an educational opportunity as we engage and educate students about the process, how data is used and the importance of civic responsibility.”
“As one of the most trusted institutions in our nation and a key information resource in a community, the American Library Association recognized that libraries would be on the front line of Census 2020 and have provided key resources to enable us to carry out our role,” said Karen Bradley, Schenectady County Public Library Executive Director. “Schenectady County's investment in our libraries in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of the city, computers, and increased bandwidth places us in a perfect position to aid those living in the areas of the city and county that are part of the great digital divide and to ensure that is not a barrier to participation, for this predominantly online Census. Our youth services are connected to families and can promote participation. Children under age 5 are the most undercounted groups. When they are missed, our community could be faced with needed funding for schools, children's health insurance and other essential services and resources. We look forward to collaborating with local officials, non-profits and our literacy partners to ensure that the barriers to participation can be broken down."
"While a Census is a National event, in order to be successful, it must be conducted at the local level,” said Jeff Behler Regional Director, New York Region Census Center. “This starts with hiring people to work in their own communities. We look forward to working with the City of Schenectady to ensure that together we provide easy and ample opportunities for local community members to apply to Census jobs. We need trusted voices of every community to share the message that the Census is Safe, Easy, and Important. We congratulate the City of Schenectady on forming a complete count committee to ensure that the city achieves a complete and accurate count this spring.”
Members of Schenectady’s Complete Count Committee also noted that the US Census Bureau is hiring locally and urged interested residents to visit www.2020census.gov/jobs to apply. Census Taker positions currently available in Schenectady County offer a pay rate of $20.00 per hour.