Insights to Impact

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Spark Change: Power, Not Politics

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the deep racial injustice that has long existed in our city and nation laid bare. The disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on communities of color have made one thing clear: political representation matters more than ever in moments of crisis.

In the video below, our President and CEO Cecilia Clarke, Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) and CNN and MSNBC Political Commentator and Brooklyn Community Foundation Board Member Aisha C. Mills discuss the upcoming 2020 election, the 2020 U.S. census, and how we can achieve long-term structural change.

During their conversation, Congressman Jeffries and Aisha Mills discuss a few simple steps you can take to participate in the democratic process and support the future of our borough. We have compiled their recommendations below, providing key resources to help you take part in the upcoming general election and the 2020 U.S. census.

1) Register to Vote by October 9th

TodayOctober 9this the last day to register to vote in New York State. You can check your voter registration status at:

To register online you will need: 

  1. NYS driver license, permit, or non-driver ID card
  2. ZIP Code currently on record with the DMV
  3. Social security number

You can register to vote at:

2. Make a Voting Plan

Voting during a pandemic presents obvious challenges—the best way to face them is by preparing a voting plan. Decide how, when, and where you will vote in the upcoming election. 

3. #MakeBrooklynCount—Fill out the 2020 Census Today

The census questionnaire is made up of 10 questions that take 10 minutes to complete, and filling it out will impact Brooklyn for the next 10 years. Your answers are confidential—they cannot be shared with law enforcement—and the census does not ask about citizenship status. The U.S. census counts everyone living in the country regardless of immigration status, and there are video and print guides to completing the census available in 59 languages.   

Only 58.5% of Brooklyn households have completed the census as of October 8th. Fill out your census today, and check with your friends and relatives (especially those who may need language support) to help them complete their census questionnaires. As of today, the deadline to complete the census is October 31st.  

You can complete the census over the phone, by mail, or online at

To learn more, watch the discussion below!

Webinar ∙ Spark Change: Power, Not Politics 

Recorded September 29, 2020

Transcript Available Here

Census 2020, Webinars

Jameela Syed

Communications Manager (She/Her/Hers)
“If we have an undercount in Brooklyn...then we are going to be underrepresented in terms of our fair share of resources. That means for public education, for affordable housing, for infrastructure, for healthcare. It's across the board, it affects every single facet of your life.” –Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries