Center Opens March 5; 2020 Census Count Begins March 12
BP Lee Also Accepting Applications for State-Funded Census Outreach Efforts

(March 2, 2020 at 1:27pm)

QUEENS, NY – Acting Borough President Sharon Lee today announced the 2020 Census Resource Assistance Center at Queens Borough Hall will open to the public beginning Thursday, March 5, offering Queens residents the ability to access Census outreach materials, ask questions of trained volunteers and apply for 2020 Census-related jobs. Borough President Lee also continues to accept applications from not-for-profits interested in receiving state funding for Census outreach efforts in Queens.

“It’s all hands on deck for the 2020 Census,” said Borough President LEE. “We must ensure every single Queens resident – of every age and regardless of documentation status – is counted. When we are not counted, we are rendered invisible and irrelevant for our fair share of federal representation and funding. An undercount is something the Borough of Families simply cannot afford. The future of our county, city and state depend on a full and accurate 2020 Census count.”

From March 5 through July 31, the 2020 Census Resource Assistance Center at Queens Borough Hall (2nd Floor) will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM to 6 PM. On hand to assist visitors to the Center will be Queens Borough President’s Office staff and trained volunteers from Borough President Lee’s Queens Complete Count Committee (Queens CCC), a group of over 100 trusted community leaders and groups charged with developing outreach strategies and maximizing participation in the 2020 Census.

Electronic devices will be available at the Center for residents to fill out the nine-question Census form online upon its launch on March 12, while U.S. Census Bureau resources in more than a dozen languages will be available for visitors to take home and distribute to family, friends and neighbors. No appointments are necessary and walk-ins are welcome.

A controversial citizenship question will not be on the 2020 Census, following a decision by the United States Supreme Court last year to block such a question from being included. Documentation status will have no bearing on any resident’s ability to fully complete and submit a Census questionnaire.

The Office of the Queens Borough President’s efforts to ensure Queens is accurately counted also extends to supporting not-for-profit organizations seeking state funding to conduct Census outreach efforts across the borough. To complete the pre-qualifying application — a requirement prior to partnering with any county — followed by a Queens Get Out the Count application, visit www.queensbp.org/2020Census.

The opening of the Center is the latest step in a year-long commitment by the Office of the Queens Borough President to ensure every borough resident is counted fairly and accurately in the 2020 Census.

To prevent a repeat of the substantial undercounts in various Queens neighborhoods during the 2010 Census — which dubiously reported the borough’s population rose by only 1,300 people over the prior decade — then-Borough President Melinda Katz first hosted a Census Town Hall at Borough Hall in November 2018 to propel public discourse and engagement for the 2020 Census.

In January 2019, then-Borough President Katz announced the formation of the Queens CCC, later hosting both a Queens Job Fair for the 2020 Census and a Public Hearing with the New York State Complete Count Commission in May 2019.

Then-Borough President Katz also signed an amicus brief sent to the United States Supreme Court, along with nearly 200 other elected officials from around the country, opposing the federal government’s attempt to include a discriminatory citizenship question on the 2020 Census — an effort to weaponize the Census to dilute resources, representation and minority voting power that the Supreme Court ultimately blocked.

Under the leadership of Borough President Lee, the Office of the Queens Borough President has worked to connect Queens not-for-profits with New York State funding grants for Census outreach, while the Queens CCC has remained steadfast in its community outreach efforts to ensure all Queens families are counted once the 2020 Census begins later this month.

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

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QueensBP2020 on Twitter and Facebook