By Robert Kimmel –
Westchester County Executive George Latimer describes the extension of the 2020 national census to October 31, as recently ruled by a federal judge, a “major win” for the County.
The preliminary injunction by a federal judge in California blocked the Trump administration’s earlier directive which would have ended the census-taking a month sooner, at the end of September. The administration claimed a later date would have prevented it from receiving completed population data by the December 31 deadline it had set. The Judge also nullified that timing, and set April 2021, an original deadline, as the earliest date such information could be delivered to the White House and the President.
Census Bureau officials had questioned the administration’s newer deadline, presenting evidence that the earlier dates, set in August, would seriously jeopardize the accuracy of the population count. Critics had also charged the September deadline would have caused undercounts among certain segments of the population. The City of Los Angeles and several national groups sued the government, asking for the preliminary injunction.
Latimer’s statement characterized the judge’s ruling as “…ensuring the most accurate census count, especially when so much is at stake for Westchester County, including both representation and the potential loss of billions of dollars. This funding, which is allocated based on population, can be used for our schools, infrastructure, roads, hospitals, fire departments, day cares, after school programs and more,“ he continued.
“It is understandable that our focus may have shifted over these past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is more important now than ever that everyone take a few moments to fill out their census forms,” the County Executive explained. “This extension allows more time for everyone to participate.” The pandemic has been blamed for delays in census-taking nationally.
Local villages have pushed their residents to participate in the census. Tarrytown recently posted, “The Village is happy to announce that we’ve exceeded the 2010 response rate and currently have had 72% of our neighbors respond to the census.” It prompted those who had not filled out the forms to do so by visiting https://my2020census.gov/.
Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray expressed his push for the census by personally visiting homes door-to-door in his village to urge residents to complete census forms. His pursuit is shown in a video posted on the Village and Warner Library websites, which includes a major portion in Spanish inviting the Village’s Hispanic residents to participate.
Here’s the link to share: https://youtu.be/jYMpWX8vthI
Both Irvington and Dobbs Ferry have used social media to urge their residents to take part in the census. Irvington reminded residents, “During this time you can still fill out the form on your own so a census taker won’t need to knock on your door to count you in-person,” noting again the website where residents can complete census forms. .
“Dobbs Counts!” is the headline on that Village’s website encouraging its population to participate in the census process. It added, “We need your help to remind your friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors to respond to the 2020 census. Communities will miss out on funding for critical public services for the next 10 years unless everyone is counted. Every response matters.”
The urgency to take part in the census, if residents have not done so, has been reinforced by the Trump administration’s appeal Friday, asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to nullify the preliminary injunction to extend the census to October 31, thus terminating it by the end of this month.