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City of Albany Census Complete Count Committee Highlights the Importance of 2020 Census Participation

May 01, 2019

Date: May 1, 2019

Contact: Brian Shea
(518) 434-5100


ALBANY, NY – Today, members of the City of Albany’s Census Complete Count Committee joined together at City Hall to highlight the importance of Albany residents’ participation in the 2020 Census.  Members of the City of Albany’s Complete Count Committee also discussed the various ways member organizations will help support the decennial population tally over the next sixteen months.  The City of Albany Albany’s Complete Count Committee is chaired by Mayor Sheehan and is comprised of current and former local elected officials, City officials, community organizations, and educational institutions.

The more Albany residents that respond to the 2020 Census, the more federal funding the City may receive.  This money will help educate our youth, rebuild our roads and bridges, and attract additional investment to our region.  Census results determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is shared across the nation for programs like Head Start, School Breakfast & Lunch Programs, and Housing Repair Grants, as well as how Congressional districts, school districts, and city wards are drawn, and how sales tax revenue is shared.

The City of Albany Census Complete Count Committee is aware of the concerns surrounding the Census process that are derived by a variety of factors, including distrust of federal government, unawareness of the importance of the Census, and the possible addition of a citizenship question that threatens to undermine participation and accuracy.  

The Committee will work tirelessly over the next sixteen months to communicate the importance of the Census to residents and help alleviate concerns surrounding the process, especially to those communities that are historically hard-to-reach and often undercounted.

Complete Count Committee Members also highlighted that local Census jobs are available, and urged residents to visit and to learn more and apply today.

“Obtaining a complete count in the City of Albany is critically important to the residents of our City for not only the next ten years, but for decades to come,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.  “Given the uncertainty around funding cuts to the U.S. Census Bureau and the possible addition of a citizenship question that threatens to undermine participation and accuracy, it is vital that our Complete Count Committee is comprised of trusted voices in the community that echo the importance of the Census throughout our community.”

"A complete count is important because it determines representation in federal, state and local legislative bodies,” said Richard Conti, President Pro Tempore of the City of Albany Common Council.  “The diversity of our voices is strongest and fully represented when they are counted."

“The City School District of Albany is glad to be a partner in this important process for our entire community,” said Kaweeda G. Adams, Albany City Schools Superintendent.  “We are committed to ensuring that all of our students and families are educated about the Census and what it means in terms of resources and opportunities for our community over the next decade.  We also are committed to doing our part to make sure all of our families are comfortable with this process and know that this information will be collected and used in a safe, responsible manner.”

"The library is the primary community resource for connecting people to the internet,” said Scott Jarzombek, Albany Public Library Executive Director.  “With the changes to the Census, we recognize we will see an increase in people visiting the library to use our public computers and our Wi-Fi.  The library is proud to be working with multiple community partners to assure everyone in this city is counted."

“It’s critical that all members of the Albany community be counted, and that includes the many college students who call the City home for most of the year,” said Luke Rumsey, associate director of Neighborhood Life at the University at Albany.  “UAlbany is committed to working with the city and the U.S. Census Bureau to make this count as accurate as possible and ensure Albany receives the resources it deserves.”

"The last Census revealed an historic increase in the Latino population of the Capital District; I am convinced that a true and complete count will dwarf those numbers," said Dan Irizarry, chairman of Capital District LATINOS.  "An undercount in 2020 would serve to hobble Latino progress here and we must not let that happen!"

“The Census is an important tool to help us allocate resources to respond to unique neighborhood needs,” said Natasha Pernicka, Executive Director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District.  “We look forward to partnering to encourage participation in the Census 2020. Working together we can do more than any one of us alone.”

“The Albany Census Complete Count will provide local employment opportunities for our residents, as well as help our city engage and better understand the communities we serve,” said Jonathan Jones, Commissioner of the City of Albany’s Department of Recreation and Department of Youth and Workforce Services.

"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 Regional Census Center, U.S. Census Bureau.  “This starts with hiring people to work in their own communities.  We look forward to working with the City of Albany to ensure that together we provide easy and ample opportunities for local community members to apply to Census jobs."