As an impoverished city, Syracuse stands to gain the most from full participation
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade
President Trump has decided to change the end date for the 2020 US Census, originally scheduled for October. The deadline has been shifted to September, cutting out a month of US Census themed activities designed to increase our level of participation.
We are at around 50% which means that if information is not provided by the population, the government will guess. Which means when funds are awarded, Syracuse NY census numbers will be based on an estimate rather than actual numbers. When this occurs, undercounted populations lose, minority, immigrant, and impoverished people are then undercounted. Congressional, legislative, and local districts are then redrawn to reflect the new number, which is now an estimate – missing thousands of residents, many in need of the vary services the census is conducted to quantify.
In the city of Syracuse’s weekly briefing Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens emphasized the importance of what these funds mean to the area, that point was reinforced by Common Council President Helen Hudson.
The following, information from the US Census, in a nutshell breaks down what we’re losing by not completing the survey:
The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and so much more.
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.
This once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Census results affect planning and funding for education—including programs such as Head Start, Pell Grants, school lunches, rural education, adult education, and grants for preschool special education
Census results affect planning and funding for healthcare—including programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part B, State Children’s Health Insurance, and the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
Census results affect planning and funding for infrastructure—including programs for highway planning and construction, Section 8 housing, federal transit, community development, and rural water and waste disposal systems.
We couldn’t be in a more perilous time to conduct a census, it’s in the Constitution and it drives the nations policies for a decade. That’s why leaders, especially in cities across the country are practically begging people to participate. With time now reduced by a month, it’s even more important to complete the 2020 US Census.
When Washington DC’s deciding on policies that impact us all; there will be no march, nor movement that can change that formula. Remember food distribution involving blocks of government cheese? These surplus allotments were based on Census figures. How many poor reside in a Census tract? Where does wealth reside? This resource becomes a guide that impacts our lives for the next 10 years.
As an impoverished city, Syracuse stands to gain the most from full participation, not only will it indicate how many are in need of services, it will show patterns of poverty and tracks changes in the area’s income, both positive and negative.
The Census will capture the hundreds of people who have relocated downtown. The relocation caused by a concept that spread the university’s footprint; The Connective Corridor, became a catalyst for millions of dollars of investment from University Hill to downtown Syracuse. Those numbers need to be counted as these “communities-in-a-box” are expensive and could represent a slight increase of higher income people in Syracuse, a sign of an improving city. Business decisions are also made based on information derived from census data.
There’s so much at stake with the upcoming Census; a surprising reduction in ground efforts at a time when harder to reach populations are surveyed manually, an assault on the process to allow mail-in voting. (which occurs safely in several states already.) The Reduction in the number of polling places where African Americans vote, in too many cases it takes upwards of 5 hours in line, especially in the south.
If this isn’t a clarion call to action, nothing is.