Westchester officials urge residents to take part in the 2020 census

The start of the 2020 census count is April 1, and only about a third of Westchester residents have registered so far.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 6:56 PM

Updated 1,513 days ago

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Westchester County officials are emphasizing the importance of residents taking part in this year's U.S. census.
The start of the 2020 census count is April 1, and only about a third of Westchester residents have registered so far.
Officials say it is important for more residents to register because they believe a more accurate population count means more money for schools, infrastructure and the community at large.
Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard is taking this year's census especially seriously after she says the city was undercounted by 33,000 people in the 2010 census.
"We potentially missed out on $830 million in community funding per year—that's $830 million over a 10-year period," she says.
The mayor also says the county has no choice but to employ new strategies to make sure no one is left uncounted.
"We are relying on online, social media and good old fashioned phone calls to people to encourage them to fill out the census,” says Patterson-Howard.
Only 23% of Mount Vernon residents have completed their census forms so far. Port Chester is not doing much better at 26% and Yonkers at 27%. Meanwhile, Croton on Hudson, Briarcliff Manor and Ryebrook lead the county in completed forms.
While the count starts in April, federal officials extended the deadline to Aug. 14. They say they are using the extra time to educate the public on why being counted matters.
Blanca Lopez, who is leading Westchester County's census efforts, says the count determines how congressional districts are divided and how federal funds are allocated for schools, police and highways.
"Every time a person doesn't participate, their community, their state, their county loses money. Funds that are extremely precious and that can only come to us every 10 years," she says.
Residents can fill out the census form online, by phone or in person. Census takers are expected to make their home visits this summer.


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