Capital Region leaders talk impact of 2020 census and redistricting

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The U.S. Census Bureau releasing additional 2020 results Thursday that show how redistricting might play out around the nation. Out of 62 counties across New York State, only 14 saw any population growth in the 2020 census.

The Capital Region has five lucky counties that came out positively, including Albany and Schenectady.

“[There are] direct benefits to our residents in terms of human service funding, in terms of federal transportation dollars, which are very important to us because of the aging infrastructure that we have,” explains Schenectady County Legislator Gary Hughes.

Although Albany County saw approximately 10,000 more people move in since the last census count with a total 314,848 in 2020 and 304,204 in 2010, Executive Dan McCoy says sadly the City of Albany fell short of a federal funding threshold with just 99,224 residents.

“I was hoping it would be over that, because people don’t realize the tax dollars, federal tax dollars, that come with a city that’s over 100,000, and there’s so many needs with how much money we’re going to lose now,” McCoy explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

New York State also fell 89 people short of the total needed to keep all its congressional seats, now dropping to 26 districts. Losing even one member might have a serious effect on representation for upstate issues. New York City saw its population skyrocket to 8.8 million, leading some to question whether the remaining representation will be more heavily weighted to downstate.

“A lot of people hate politics, but without having that member, that many members in Congress, representing our needs, bringing back the money to the Capital Region, to the state of New York, it’s really going to hurt,” McCoy says.

“I would think that it would bode well for the congressional delegation from the Capital Region that there was overall growth in this area,” adds Hughes.

Redistricting is still a long way away. Local leaders say their hope will be better cooperation between upstate and downstate.

“Bringing our interests to the table and educating people in New York City that we do have live issues. We have issues just like you, quality of life and everything else, that we need to address on both spectrums,” McCoy says.

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