Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

November 12, 2009

New York State Launches Census Complete Count Campaign

Governor signs Executive Order No. 30 Establishing the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee

Governor David A. Paterson has signed Executive Order No. 30, establishing the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee. The Committee will raise awareness of the 2010 Census and will work to maximize the participation of all New Yorkers. New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez kicked off the State’s 2010 Census Complete Count Campaign today at an event in the State Capitol.

“It is critically important for the future of New York that we assure a complete and accurate count of New York’s population in the 2010 Census,” Governor Paterson said. “Federal estimates suggest that more than 202,000 New Yorkers were not counted in the 2000 census – we can and we must do better. That is why I have instructed my administration to do everything possible to ensure a comprehensive count. This campaign is a real partnership between government, community, business and religious organizations. All New Yorkers must be counted.”

The census count is used to determine each State’s congressional representation for the next ten years and to establish new boundaries for congressional, State legislative and many local government districts. The federal government uses census data to allocate more than $400 billion in federal funds annually for community programs and services, such as education, housing and community development, health care, transportation and more. State, local and tribal governments use census information for planning and to allocate funds for new school construction, libraries and other public buildings, highway safety and public transportation systems, new roads and bridges, location of police and fire departments and many other projects.

Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said: “State agencies have a unique opportunity to play a critical role in ensuring a successful count. Every state agency will work to spread the message that completing the Census is easy, safe and important. Furthermore, this campaign will allow us to better coordinate our resources to target efforts at historically undercounted communities -- immigrant, minority and low-income communities in particular. We are truly all in this together.”

Earlier this year, Governor Paterson and leaders of the State Assembly and Senate appropriated funds in the 2009-10 State Budget for services and expenses necessary for community outreach to assist in reducing the undercount in the 2010 federal Census. This program will provide grants to fund public education, community outreach and other activities targeted at hard-to-count and low response rate populations for promoting awareness of the 2010 Census, improving Census questionnaire mail back rates and encouraging cooperation with Census takers.

The Complete Count Committee comprises the heads of all State agencies and authorities. New York Census Action Council will coordinate the Committee’s work. The Council comprises the Secretary of State, who will serve as the Chair; the Governor’s Counsel; the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs; the Commissioner of Economic Development; the Commissioner of Children and Family Services; the Commissioner of Health; the Commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal; the Commissioner of Labor; the Director of the Lottery; the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles; the Commissioner of Temporary and Disability Assistance; the Commissioner of Transportation; and the Chancellor of the State University of New York.

For more information on the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee, please visit


The following statements were provided in support of the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Campaign:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said: “We need to make sure all New Yorkers are counted fairly and accurately in the census. Getting a true picture of all of our communities will help make sure we address the needs of all New Yorkers. I will continue working with Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and our entire Congressional Delegation to make sure we get our census data correct, and make sure New York gets its fair share from Washington.”

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke said: “I commend Governor Paterson for establishing the New York 2010 Census Complete Count Committee. As the Representative of the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, where less than 35% of my district participated in the 2000 Census, I believe the Committee will improve Census questionnaire mail back rates and encourage cooperation with Census takers. My office has been working with the Department of Commerce to greatly improve my district's participation in the 2010 census. The Committee’s work will be instrumental in helping to maximize the participation of all New Yorkers. Census data is an invaluable resource and provides a critical understanding of our country. An accurate count of all ethnic communities will highlight their purchasing power and economic impact both in the U.S. and global markets, particularly communities that represent a large part of the African Diaspora.”

Congressman Eliot Engel said: “Getting a complete and accurate census count is vital for New York and for the people who live here. Federal aid to states in based on population, so a short count hurts everyone, especially those who need it most. Personal data from the census is not shared with other federal, state or municipal agencies, only demographic information such as population numbers, ethnic breakdowns, etc. When the census taker comes around, don’t be afraid to get counted to help yourself and help New York State.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said: “It is critical that all New Yorkers are counted in the 2010 Census. Without an accurate count, our state will be shortchanged in Washington of federal funding, representation, and influence. I look forward to working with New York State and local officials to ensure all our residents are counted.”

Congressman Dan Maffei said: “Democracy works when everyone is counted. We need all New Yorkers to understand and participate in the 2010 Census, and I thank Governor Paterson for taking the initiative to make this a priority for New York.”

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said: “I am pleased that the Governor has launched a census committee. It is imperative that every New Yorker be counted. By accounting for all New Yorkers it will enable the state to have the proper amount of Congressional representation which in turn means our fair share of federal funding.”

Congressman Charles B. Rangel said: “An accurate count is important not only because it helps determine the amount of federal funding for our communities, but also helps businesses and nonprofits secure resources from the private and philanthropic sectors. I applaud Governor Paterson and other local elected officials for answering the call and gathering the diversity of voices needed to ensure a complete count in every neighborhood across this great state.”

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said: “I am committed to ensuring a complete and accurate census in 2010. In recent years I’ve written to the Commerce Department urging the Secretary to allow the Census Bureau to conduct the census in the most practical and basic ways to ensure the most accurate count. I’ve also implored the Department to focus on the fundamental tasks of raising awareness, compiling accurate and complete lists and getting the highest possible response rate. The Census is simply too important for failure.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said: “We need all New Yorkers to take a few minutes and participate in the 2010 Census. An accurate count is critical to helping all levels of government plan for the next ten years, and it also ensures that our communities will get the proper level of funding for services such as neighborhood improvements, education, and transportation to name a few. The investment of a few minutes of time to complete the census will truly return dividends for our state and our communities.”

Congressman Edolphus Towns said: “I am pleased to see the enactment of this important census initiative. We must do everything possible to raise awareness about Census participation so that every New Yorker is counted. As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees the Census, I will also be working to ensure that the fairest assessment of population in New York, and across the nation, is reported in the 2010 Census.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said: “With the 2010 Census, we must put an end to the historical undercount of Hispanic and other minority communities. A fair and equal count in 2010 will ensure New York’s diverse communities receive vital resources for schools, health care, job training and infrastructure. Latinos are the fastest growing population in the United States, and only through an accurate count can we ensure they receive the federal assistance and representation they deserve.”

Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said: “I am pleased Governor Paterson has taken steps to ensure each and every New Yorker is counted in the 2010 census efforts. The Senate Majority has already begun outreach efforts in communities across the state in hope of obtaining the most accurate count of residents in the state. The Governor’s initiative will guarantee millions of dollars in federal funding to the state’s health, education, and construction industries.”

Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos said: “Census data has an effect on everything in New York State, from education and health care to police and emergency services. As the next census gets underway, it is important that every New Yorker is counted to ensure we receive our fair share of federal aid and continue to have the resources we need to continue vital services in communities throughout the state.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “It is our goal to have every New Yorker counted in the 2010 federal Census. An accurate count will provide information essential to ensuring that New York gets its fair share of funding from vital federal programs that help to deliver services to the elderly, unemployed and at-need residents, as well as maintaining equal representation for New Yorkers in our federal government. This committee will inform New Yorkers of the census process and ensure that forms are correctly completed. The Assembly Majority encourages all New Yorkers to make sure that they are counted, and supports the creation of this important and necessary committee to ensure that billions of dollars of federal aid is available to our state in the coming decade.”

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said: “Years of high taxes, runaway government spending and an underperforming economy have resulted in millions of residents leaving our state. It has also led to New York losing seats in the House of Representatives, which limits our ability to obtain a ‘fair share’ of the tax dollars we send to Washington. I am encouraging every New Yorker to take part in the 2010 Census so we can ensure a fair, accurate and complete count of our state’s population.”


2009 Press Releases