On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams joined Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO at Brooklyn Community Foundation, alongside representatives from New York Counts 2020 and the Center for Law and Social Justice at the New York City Black Leadership Action Coalition for Census 2020 (NYC BLAC) at Medgar Evers College, to launch the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee and a #MakeBrooklynCount campaign that will work to ensure an accurate and fair demographic and population count during the 2020 Census, which will be conducted by the United States Census Bureau. The campaign, which was launched on the Front Steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn, will be headed by the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee — a consortium of organizations including academic institutions and community groups targeting traditionally undercounted communities such as the elderly, low-income, undocumented, and young individuals, as well as those whose first language is not English. It will work to ensure these communities are properly counted so that the city receives adequate federal funding for community development, health care, housing, infrastructure and transportation to meet the needs of all of the borough’s 2.6 million residents. Borough President Adams emphasized the importance of a complete count in light of the Trump Administration’s threats to an inclusive census that includes every Brooklyn resident regardless of their background.
“Ensuring that every Brooklynite is fairly counted is a critical priority for our borough,” said Borough President Adams. “The Trump Administration is scaring Americans by proposing the addition of a citizenship question as well as potentially erasing LGBTQ and transgender people from the count. They are building walls of exclusion that we will not tolerate. Everyone should be counted in Brooklyn!”
“We are honored to partner with Borough President Adams to launch the #MakeBrooklynCount campaign and Brooklyn’s Complete Count Committee,” said Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation. “We want to make sure that every Brooklyn resident, regardless of age, race, or immigration status, is fairly and accurately counted in Census 2020 so that all of our communities receive the benefits they deserve and continue to grow stronger into the future. As Brooklyn’s community foundation, we are calling on every Brooklyn resident, nonprofit, and business to be part of the campaign to #MakeBrooklynCount. Let’s take Brooklyn from the hardest to count to a 100 percent response!”
The Brooklyn Complete Count Committee, which held its inaugural meeting in the Rotunda at Brooklyn Borough Hall preceding the campaign launch, will be co-chaired by Cecilia Clarke and Pastor Gilford Monrose, Borough President Adams’ Director of Faith-Based Initiatives. The committee’s mission will be to work on a grassroots outreach campaign incorporating Brooklyn’s diverse businesses, civic and faith-based organizations, and community groups to address concerns around filling out the census form, while emphasizing the importance of self-reporting. Representatives from the Brooklyn Public Library, City University of New York (CUNY), New York Immigration Coalition, Rockefeller Institute of Government, and the US Census Bureau also noted the urgency of properly counting the borough’s diverse communities as it will determine critical funding to the city for at least a decade.
“As one of the most democratic institutions in the borough, libraries have a long tradition of welcoming new immigrants, older adults, and other undercounted communities,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We will continue to stand up for them as part of the #MakeBrooklynCount campaign, alongside Borough President Adams and Brooklyn Community Foundation.”
“Brooklyn is considered the hardest to count of all 62 counties in New York State,” said Steven Romalewski, researcher at the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center at CUNY. “Brooklyn's Complete Count Committee, guided by the leadership of the Brooklyn Borough President's office, Brooklyn Community Foundation, and trusted partner organizations across the borough, will reverse that trend so that Brooklyn is counted one hundred percent in the 2020 Census.”
“The #MakeBrooklynCount campaign is vitally important to reach every community member in one of the most diverse places in the country, so that in turn, Brooklynites get the resources they need and deserve,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Brooklyn is not about to lose a dime, or our voices, to Washington DC”
“In 2010, Brooklyn had the lowest census response rate in New York State,” said Jeffrey M. Wice, fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. “To help ensure a high response rate in the census, the Rockefeller Institute of Government is providing technical assistance to the Brooklyn Complete Count Committee as well as other municipal governments to help improve response rates. An accurate census is critical to fair representation and essential federal funding.”
“The Brooklyn Complete Count Committee is a crucial step in ensuring a complete and accurate census,” said Jeff T. Behler, director of the New York Regional Office of the US Census Bureau. “We look forward to learning some of the unique challenges and discussing possible solutions to those obstacles. I am excited to work closely with all the leaders and trusted voices in Brooklyn.”
The Brooklyn Complete Count Committee is comprised of a diverse array of representatives and organizations from across every neighborhood and constituency in the borough including Arab American Family Support Center, Association for a Better New York (ABNY), Academy of Medical and Public Health Services, Adelaide Sanford Institute, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Arab American Association of New York, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, Bethesda Healing Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Black Congress on Health, Law, and Economics, Inc., Board of Trustees, Bridge Street AWME Church, BRIC, Bridging Access to Care, Brooklyn Alcoholism and Addictive Services Council, Brooklyn NAACP, Brooklyn Community Board 2, Brooklyn Community Board 8, Brooklyn Community Board 16, Brooklyn Community Board 18, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Community Services, Brooklyn Public Library, Brownstoners of Bedford Stuyvesant, BSUYRI, Caleb Global, Calvary Fellowship AME Church, CAMBA, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Caribbean Life Newspaper, CaribBeing, Catholic Charities, Center for Law and Social Justice, Center for Nuleadership on Urban Solutions, Chinese-American Planning Council, Brooklyn Community Services, Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign Clergy Liaison, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Cozen O’Connor, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, CUNY Mapping Service, CYSCFBO, Darfur (Sudan) People's Association of NY & Friends of Rikers Island Academy, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter, Dominicanos USA, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, East Kings County Alumnae Chapter-Delta Sigma Thera Sorority, Inc., East New York Restoration Local Development Corporation, EducatedVoter.net, Eglise Baptiste Ammi, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Ernest Skinner Political Association, Fighting Against Gun Violence Via Education: Melquain Jatelle Anderson Scholarship, First Unitarian Congregation Society of Brooklyn, Flatbush SDA Church, Flatlands Flatbush Civic Group, Garifuna Community, Global Bible Ministries Inc., Heights and Hills, Inc., Institute for Peace and Leadership, Inc., International African Arts Festival, JCRC-NY, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, John Hus Moravian Church, Kingsbrook Medical Center, LDC of Crown Heights, Inc., Medgar Evers College, Mocada, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, My Time Inc., NBWHAN, New York Counts 2020, New York City Central Labor Council, New York City Commission On Human Rights, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, NYC Health + Hospitals | Kings County, New York City Medical Reserve Corps, Office of Assembly Member Walter T. Mosley, Office of Assembly Member Diana Richardson, Office of the New York City Public Advocate, PAANY, Parent Leadership Institute, Poppa & Momma Jones' Historic Community Garden, Progressive Association for Political Action, Servant Institute, Siloam Presbyterian Church, Stanford Adelaide Parent Leader, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, The Black Institute, The Friends of Crown Heights Educational Centers, Inc., The Homeowners Association Inc., The Terry Resource Group, United Neighborhood Houses, VOCAL-NY, West Indian American Day Carnival Association, World Restoration Center, and YMCA of Greater New York.