New York, NY – Council Speaker Corey Johnson today named Council Members Carlos Menchaca and Carlina Rivera co-chairs of the newly created 2020 Census Task Force, a group that will work to ensure that every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming decennial questionnaire. The task force, which will be composed of members of the Council’s Finance, Legislative and Community Engagement divisions, will focus on targeting traditionally undercounted immigrant and minority communities. Additionally, task force members will be working closely with the offices of all Council Members and community-based organizations for a successful census count.       

“The newly created task force, and the entire City Council, are committed to ensuring every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming 2020 Census. While the federal administration continues to undermine and intimidate immigrant communities across the nation at every opportunity, the City Council will do what is necessary to get a complete, accurate count of our population. The census determines how more than $700 billion is distributed for vital services, including education and infrastructure. New York State receives about $53 billion in federal funding, and a good count will ensure we get the federal dollars we deserve. Additionally, the census also affects political representation on both the state and federal levels. The City Council is committed to get an accurate count in the 2020 Census, and I know Council Members Menchaca and Rivera will work diligently to help achieve that goal,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.    

The announcement comes days after U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman blocked the Trump administration’s decision to include the controversial citizenship question in the 2020 Census, a question that has not been included since 1950. “I hope we avoid politicizing the census and this question stays out of the final version of the questionnaire,” said Council Speaker Johnson.

“The census is more than a simple count of persons. It determines the very identity of our City. Whatever the census says about us will be interpreted as the reality of our needs for the next decade. If we don’t get this count right, thousands of people will fail to get the food, healthcare, education, and housing they are entitled to. And we as a people will fail to get adequate representation in Congress to fight for policies we cannot enact on our own. The possibility of a citizenship question on the census only underscores the urgency of getting this count right, as well as the need to ensure that our immigrant communities are counted. I applaud Council Speaker Johnson for recognizing the urgency of this moment. I am honored to serve as a Co-Chair for the newly formed Census 2020 Task Force, and I cannot think of a greater champion in the City Council than Carlina Rivera to work with on this,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Co-Chair of the Council’s 2020 Census Task Force and Chair of the Committee on Immigration.

“I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for choosing me to Co-Chair the Council’s 2020 Census Task Force. There are few government actions that will have as big of an impact on New York State as the 2020 Census, and I will work to ensure that the greatest number of New Yorkers are able to turn out to make their voices heard. We need to treat this census with the scale and seriousness it deserves, and our task force plans to do just that. We will take all steps necessary to stop the President’s anti-immigrant question on citizenship, push our city and state leaders to commit serious financial resources to outreach, and get the message out about how the Census Affects everything from federal dollars for New York projects to our representation in D.C. I look forward to working with Co-Chair Carlos Menchaca, my fellow taskforce members, and Speaker Johnson in the weeks and months ahead as we begin the rollout of this new initiative,” said New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera, Co-Chair of the Council’s 2020 Census Task Force.