With exactly one year until the federal government’s launch of the 2020 Census, County Executive George Latimer announced the Census 2020 Complete Count Committee which he has tasked with ensuring all Westchester residents are counted and the County does not lose out on both federal representation and federal dollars.
“The mission is very simple – we want to make sure that if you reside in Westchester County that you are counted. The potential loss of dollars and representation is what is at stake here. We know that we have hard to reach communities and we wanted to make sure those communities were represented on this committee. If you are a resident of Westchester County, you need to be counted – and the census should count each individual,” Latimer said:
In 2010, Westchester was 9th hardest County in New York State to count in 2010 with only 76% of households submitting responses. The job of the committee will now turn to outreach and marketing to various community groups, libraries, places of worship and other hubs of activity to help ensure residents of every age, race and socioeconomic background know the importance of being counted. All Westchester County Departments and staff will also work closely with the Committee to provide input from their respective areas of expertise.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, “I applaud County Executive George Latimer for establishing Westchester’s US Census Complete Count Committee, which will play an integral role in assuring an accurate count. With exactly a year to go before the official 2020 U.S. Census, we must all work together to ensure that New York receives its fair share of federal resources that result from the Census count. As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I secured $3.82 billion for the Census in Fiscal Year 2019, a $1 billion increase from 2018. I will continue fighting tooth and nail to ensure that the 2020 Census is adequately funded.”
“The reason County Executive Latimer and I advocated for the opening of a Westchester census office earlier this year is because the 2020 census is critical. Without a proper count, New York could lose vital federal funding and representation, which could result in fewer dollars coming to Westchester County to administer programs. I’m fighting in Washington to ensure the census isn’t done in a way that could drive down our count, and I’m pleased the County Executive has taken a similarly proactive approach by developing this complete county outreach committee. Let’s make sure everyone in Westchester is counted,” Congressman Eliot Engel explained.
Committee Co-Chair Carola Bracco said, “This is the most litigated Census this Country has ever had – and it is causing significant distrust in the community. I am looking forward to this committee making recommendations to the County so we can be sure to reach those hard to reach communities.”
Committee Co-Chair Edgar Santana added, “This committee is of critical importance. A skewed census will hurt Westchester’s towns, cities, and villages and would impact services designed to help them. I thank the County Executive for this appointment and I look forward to working with everyone.”
Westchester County Commissioner of Planning Norma Drummond said, “Data is so critical to planning and the data that comes out of this census will be used for the next decade. This data translates into dollars that comes into Westchester, so the importance to have all counted cannot be understated.”
Committee member Judge Francis Nicolai concluded, “I look forward to working with my colleagues on devoting our time, talent and energy to ensure that the County has an accurate and complete count. It’s a challenging job, but I am very confident that we will be successful.”
Members of the County Executive’s Complete Count Census 2020 Committee are:
Edgar Santana (CO-CHAIR); Carola Bracco (CO-CHAIR;Robert Baskerville; Kim Snyder; Louis Sanchez; Maria Kercado; Sojourner Salinas; Katelin Penner; Dr. Terry Kirchner; Jirandy Martinez; Shari Sanchez; Rev. Dierdra Clark;David Imamura; Eridania Camacho; Rich Payne; Judge Francis Nicolai ;Rabbi Eytan Hammerman; Avni Mustafaj; Ghada Salim; Alison Boak ; Symra Brandon; Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond (EX-OFFICIO); and Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins (EX-OFFICIO).