NYS Needs to Invest $40M to Save Census or Lose Millions More

October 29th, 2018

Rep Nadler, Kathryn Wylde, community organizations, call on Gov. Cuomo to fund Census outreach for fair and accurate count in 2020

Fiscal Policy Institute releases cost analysis of community outreach

NEW YORK, NY - On Monday, October 29th, the New York Counts 2020 coalition, business leaders, and elected officials held a press conference calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to commit $40 million to fund outreach efforts for the 2020 Census. Proponents argue that sufficient funding is necessary to prevent an undercount in the upcoming Census and to ensure that New York secures its fair share of federal funds and political representation.

The Fiscal Policy Institute released its report on the cost analysis for statewide Census education and community outreach. In order to maximize participation and ensure a fair and accurate count, community organizations require sufficient funding to reach marginalized populations. The report takes the Census Bureau’s “hard to count” populations, and proposes a cost estimate of just $2 per person if all residents in hard to count groups receive basic community outreach.

“Between a proposed citizenship question and reduced federal resources for the 2020 Census, our chances at producing an accurate count look dim. New Yorkers are at risk of losing not only their political power, but millions of dollars in federal funding needed to support the growth of our communities. It is critical that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature invest in education and outreach around Census participation, in order to ensure a fair and accurate count of all our communities across the state. New Yorkers will not lose a dime to Washington D.C.,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“The Census will take place in 2 years - no matter what. It is our responsibility to prepare New Yorkers for the count in 2020 because the data that the Census collects is the data that every level of our government will use, it’s the data that business and universities will analyze, and it’s the most important data that New York State will have about its residents for the next 10 years. After listening to the outreach plans that community organizations from upstate and downstate have, I am convinced that allocating $40 million is the least we can do to for our future,” said Shamier Settle, Policy Analyst at the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“Heightened fears among immigrant populations will make it especially difficult to get a complete census count. Unless we all step up to support unprecedented outreach to New York’s lower income communities, there will be severe undercounting and a consequent loss of federal funds and representation for our state,” stated Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“All New Yorkers benefit from a fair and accurate census count and it is the responsibility of every New York legislator and the Governor to work to ensure we have one. We will be traveling to Albany this session and talking with leaders from both parties about the urgent need to take all the steps they can to ensure a complete census count,” said Rachel Bloom, Director of Public Policy & Programs at Citizens Union.


The New York Immigration Coalition, together with over eighty partners, has formed New York Counts 2020, a coalition to maximize participation in the census and therefore counter the expected impact of the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the census. If included, a citizenship question will stoke unnecessary fear in immigrant communities and could result in a significant undercount, particularly already under-counted racial and ethnic minority groups.

The NYIC filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York in conjunction with the ACLU and four other immigrant rights groups against the administration’s attempt to target immigrant communities, challenging the addition of the citizenship question by adding an intentional discrimination claim. The lawsuit argues that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census violates the Constitution and reverses seven decades of precedent without a factual justification.

With immigrants constituting nearly 1 out of 4 New Yorkers, an undercount in the 2020 Census will have catastrophic consequences – costing all New Yorkers political power and millions of dollars in federal funding for key services.

The New York Counts 2020 coalition includes:

Academy of Medical and Public Health Services


ADL and 67th Precinct Clergy Council

African Communities Together

African Services Committee

American Immigration Lawyers Association - New York Chapter

American Jewish Committee

Arab American Association of New York

Asian American Federation

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

Association for Better New York

Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD)

Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS)

Bronx Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc

Brooklyn Public Library

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York

Catholic Migration Services

Center for Law and Social Justice, Medgar Evers College

Center for Bronx Nonprofits

Charles B. Wang Community Health Center


Chinese-American Planning Council

Chinese Progressive Association

Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign

Cidadão Global

Citizens' Committee for Children of New York

Citizens Union Foundation

Common Cause NY

Community Legal Advocates of NY

Community Voices Heard

Cooper Square Committee N-NORC

Church Women United in New York State

Desis Rising Up and Moving

Digital Equity Laboratory, The New School


Educational Alliance's Manny Cantor Center

Emerald Island Immigration Center

Engage New York

Fiscal Policy Institute



Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

Goddard Riverside Community Center

Health and Welfare Council of Long Island

Human Services Council

Humanities New York

Indivisible Nation BK

Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Inc.

Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness  and Housing

Japanese American Social Services, Inc.

JCC Harlem: Initiative of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Jewish Community Relations Council

Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Legal Services NYC

Literacy Assistance Center

LiUNA Local 78

LSA Family Health Service


MinKwon Center for Community Action

Mixteca Organization, Inc.

Movement for Justice in El Barrio

NAACP-New York Branch

NALEO Educational Fund

New America

New York Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

New York City Employment and Training Coalition

New York Housing Conference

New York Immigration Coalition

New York Legal Assistance Group

New York Library Association

New York State Council on Children and Families

New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference


Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson


Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts

Planned Parenthood of New York City

Pratt Center for Community Development

Russian Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx, Inc.


Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester

Social Responsibility at Marlene Meyerson JCC

Sunnyside Community Services

SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government

The Black Institute

The Door - A Center for Alternatives

Tiny Panther Consulting

Treatment Action Group

Queens College, CUNY/Social Explorer

Queens Library

UJA-Federation of New York

United Neighborhood Houses

Vision Urbana, Inc.

Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County

Wayne Action for Racial Justice

Women's City Club of New York

Worker’s Center of Central New York

YMCA of Greater New York

Young Invincibles