Minority communities concerned with low census count ahead of deadline

National

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the abrupt end to the 2020 census, advocates in minority communities said they will be left disenfranchised due to low reporting.

Community advocate and co-founder of the group All of Us Jamaica Miles said it’s feet to the ground and fingers to the keyboard in a last minute effort to get a more complete count for the census.

“The census is one way towards that democratic track to ensure we get the resources, and because of the moment that we’re in, we’re going to miss out,” Miles said.

In Albany, that’s a loss of $2,000 per person per year. The city putting a last-minute ad out to save money that could go to schools, infrastructure and other vital programs already struggling due to the pandemic.

“People were not able to fill out their census; census workers were not able to make it to houses because of the pandemic,” Miles said.

The Supreme Court voted in favor of President Donald Trump’s lawsuit to change the deadline to this Thursday, October 15 at 11:59 p.m. The White House claimed the U.S. Census Bureau would not have time to tally numbers and turn the count to the president by its year-end deadline.

“If you ask me how this affects the future, I’m very perturbed of what this would mean,” said Chairman of Capital District Latinos Dan Irizarry.

Irizarry said while his group has worked to get a complete count, the messaging from the federal government has intimidated some people in his community.

“It all has amounted to sending a chilling message to the community about the possible risks of participation,” Irizarry said.

In parts of Albany County, the response rate is as low as two percent. To date, 66 percent of the county has responded.

“Even though this is a segment of the population, it is the total count that is going to influence spending and congressional districts,” Irizarry said.

The census can be filled out in two ways. People can fill out a form they should have received by mail or go to 2020census.gov to complete the census there.

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