QUEENS, NY – With the 2020 Census now just over one year away, Borough President Melinda Katz announced today the first 70 appointees to her Queens Complete Count Committee.

“From federal funding to representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, so much is at stake with the 2020 Census. That’s why we need to be as prepared as possible to ensure every Queens resident is counted accurately, as an undercount would have negative impacts across our borough for at least the next decade,” said Borough President KATZ. “The challenges Queens faces are significant, but I am confident these civic-minded community partners will help ensure the borough is counted completely and fairly.”

First announced by Borough President Katz in her 2018 State of the Borough address, the Queens CCC will bring together trusted community leaders and activists to learn about key 2020 Census issues, report back to their diverse communities and strategize how to ensure everyone in Queens is counted accurately.

A second round of appointments to the Queens CCC will be conducted later this year.

The 2020 Census brings with it new challenges, including 80 percent of respondents being asked to complete the Census form online, making the Queens CCC’s work even more vital.

The federal government also announced last year its intention to add a citizenship question to the Census, which has raised concerns about the possibility of substantial undercounts in communities where residents fear being targeted over their immigration or residency status.

On January 15, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled the federal government’s attempt to add the question is unlawful. Borough President Katz applauded Judge Furman’s ruling in a statement issued that afternoon.

“The legal battle is likely far from over, and Queens will continue to speak out against the proposed Census citizenship question for as long as there is active litigation. But today’s court ruling is a tremendous victory in the fight against a reckless policy targeting our thriving immigrant communities in Queens and across the country,” Borough President Katz said. “Including a citizenship question would undermine the goal of the Census: a complete count of all persons living in the United States. Here in Queens, a borough of nearly 2.4 million people of all races, ethnicities and faiths, an undercount would lead to fewer federal dollars for countless vital programs and initiatives.

“Judge Jesse Furman’s ruling is consistent with the borough’s belief that everyone living in Queens deserves to be accurately and fairly counted,” Borough President Katz continued. “We are hopeful that any potential court decision in the future will cement this belief.”

The decennial Census determines the borough’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as how much federal funding Queens receives for schools, infrastructure, health services and more.

The 2010 Census saw significant undercounts in parts of Western Queens, particularly those with high immigrant populations. As a whole, the count reported the population of Queens increased by only 1,300 people over the prior decade, and the Borough President is committed to working with government agencies, nonprofits and civic groups to prevent these inaccuracies from recurring.

As part of her determined effort to avoid an undercount, Borough President Katz hosted a Census Town Hall on November 13th, 2018 — featuring presentations from Deputy Mayor J. Phil Thompson, Department of City Planning Population Division Director Dr. Joseph Salvo, Census Bureau New York Regional Director Jeff T. Behler and others — to keep the public informed as the 2020 Census nears.

The 70 individuals appointed to the Queens Complete Count Committee — many of whom are also members of the Borough President’s Queens General Assembly and Immigration Task Force — are:


Follow Borough President Katz via @QueensBPKatz on Twitter and Facebook