Postpone Census, pols urge commerce secretary

BOROUGHWIDE – Hold the census count!

Everyone is busy with the coronavirus crisis and few people have the time to fill out Census forms. Members of New York City’s congressional delegation urged the U. S. Department of Commerce to postpone the count.

The Commerce Department’s jurisdiction includes the Census Bureau.

Several House members representing Brooklyn districts sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on March 12, asking him to extend the data-gathering period to September.

Members include U.S. Representatives. Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Jerrold Nadler, Max Rose and Nydia Velazquez.

Census Day is April 1

Every 10 years, the Constitution requires the federal government to count everyone in America.

The data decides who gets $675 billion in federal funds for schools, infrastructure and public transportation. The count also determines the number of House members for each state.

“Our country is suffering from a major pandemic, and the count determines the resources used for health care in instances just like this coronavirus pandemic,” said Clarke, a Democrat representing Central Brooklyn.

Requesting an extension

“We must do everything we can to set our communities up for success by having the most accurate count. The current climate of practicing social distancing makes it hard to collect data for the census. Therefore, my New York colleagues and I request that Secretary Ross issue an extension to allow for accurate collection of data,” Clarke said.

Dr. Tim Law, chairperson of the Census Outreach Committee of Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst, liked the idea of a postponement.

“I think we should postpone the census by a year,” Law told the Home Reporter. “Even three months would help. People aren’t thinking of the census today. Right now they care about the coronavirus.”

Law, who was a census taker in 2010, said the rate of participation was even low ten years ago without a pandemic dominating the news.

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