YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There’s a big nationwide campaign taking place next year, but it’s not the presidential election.
Census 2020 is already on the minds of local leaders, who worry not every resident will be counted.
Yonkers – New York’s fourth largest city – is hoping to edge out Rochester after the 2020 census is taken.
“We’re only a couple thousand residents shy of being the third-largest city in New York. If the census is done right, we will be the third largest,” Mayor Mike Spano declared.
More than bragging rights – it’s also worth big bucks – impacting billions in federal spending on community services.
“So that we can get the correct amount of funding that we need from our federal government and provide for each and everyone one of you in Yonkers,” Yonkers city councilmember Shanae Williams explained.
The city and many others are assembling task forces to reach out into communities to overcome the reluctance to fill out forms asking for information including name, race, sex, and phone number.
“That’s a lot of information and there’s so much crookedness and stuff going around today you know,” resident George Greene said about the once-every-ten-years survey.
Greg Arcaro is on the Yonkers Census2020 committee.
“There’s a concern is this information confidential? Will it come back and hurt me in some way?” Arcaro said.
“All responses are private and confidential. By law we cannot share any piece of information that might identify an individual. That is critical,” Lisa Moore of New York’s regional census center added.
Right now, the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding if the 2020 form – which goes out next March – can include a question about citizenship.
The bureau is prepared to promote something new as well. You can respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.
It’s the first time Americans will be able to fill out their form online.