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With Looming Census Deadline, Long Island Minority Groups Risk Being Undercounted

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Courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau
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The deadline to complete the 2020 U.S. Census is September 30. That’s a month early, because of a Trump administration decision that’s being fought in federal court. Community leaders have urged Long Islanders to participate as soon as possible.

Rebecca Sanin is with the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. The group has spearheaded census outreach efforts. She said there are some communities right next to each other that have radically different response rates so far.

“This translates into inequitable funding, where communities with inaccurate counts of less dollars for schools and resources. This translates into increased and magnified inequity. We can't stand for this,” she said.

Preliminary data shows the census response rate of some communities of color on Long Island hovers around 50 percent. Sanin said the coronavirus pandemic has hit communities of color hard, and that’s why it’s more important than ever that the 2020 census is accurate.

The census can be completed by mail, or online at my2020census.gov, or by calling 844-330-2020.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.