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Governor announces Census Council to be chaired by 3 high-profile leaders

Posted 20 January 2020 at 11:59 am

Martin Luther King III, Lucy Liu and Lin-Manuel Miranda will promote census count

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of the Census Council, which will be co-chaired by Martin Luther King III, Lucy Liu and Lin-Manuel Miranda, to ensure every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming 2020 census.

The Council will act as the state’s coordinating arm to achieve a complete census count using the information learned from the state’s Complete Count Commission and support from state, local and foundation funding resources.

The Governor will also propose an additional $10 million in this year’s budget to ensure a fair and complete count of every New Yorker in the census. The additional funding will bring the state’s financial support to up to $70 million for the 2020 Census.

The Governor also announced the new council will hold conferences to raise awareness about the Census and engage as many advocates, community based organizations, community leaders and local officials as possible to ensure every New Yorker is counted.

The new council will work with these stakeholders, using the information gathered by the Complete Count Commission, to coordinate efforts, deploy available resources and oversee outreach efforts in hard-to-reach communities to ensure the count actually happens.

“As this federal administration continues to disenfranchise immigrant communities and use every means possible to stop them from filling out this year’s Census questionnaire, we are taking aggressive actions to ensure every single New Yorker is counted,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new council will lead the charge coordinating stakeholders so we can reach our most difficult to count communities and help ensure New York is accurately represented and gets the federal funding we need and deserve.”

The New York State Complete Count Commission was created to inform and help direct the State’s efforts in the 2020 Census. The Commission analyzed previous Census undercounts and recommended ways to ensure a full and complete count for the 2020 Census.

Governor Cuomo has already taken several actions to support a complete census count in New York State this year. The FY 2020 Budget authorized up to $20 million for outreach and education efforts to ensure all New Yorkers are counted as part of the census.

Of the $20 million made available through the FY 2020 Budget, $15 million is being distributed to all 62 counties as well as the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers. Each locality that responded to the Request for Expressions of Interest that was released on December 4, 2019 will then submit a plan outlining how they will use the funds, and funding awards will be approved in later January.

The remaining $5 million will be deployed over the coming year to target specific communities where further outreach will be necessary as 2020 Census questionnaire filing results become available.

“I am proud to work with Governor Cuomo, Lin Manuel Miranda and Martin Luther King III to be part of the Census Council, which will raise awareness in all communities and encourage every New Yorker to participate in the 2020 Census,” said the actress Lucy Liu. “The Census only happens every ten years, and it is essential we are doing all we can as a State to make sure every single New Yorker is counted and our State is fairly represented at the federal level.”

“Representation matters and is vital for the fair allocation of federal funds to all of our communities,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Broadway musical star best known for Hamilton. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for creating the Census Council and as co-chair, I encourage my neighbors to stand up and be counted and I hope that everyone across the nation will do the same. We’re at the start of a new decade and an accurate census makes a huge difference to all of us.”

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