As I travel around the borough, I see how much we have in common. Although we may observe different holiday traditions, we all look forward to spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts and giving thanks for the blessings in our lives.
This year, there is another important theme for us to incorporate into the holidays. Dec. 22 is what the U.S. Census Bureau is calling the “100 Day Countdown” to the 2010 Census. Census numbers determine how many federal dollars we will receive for essential services and have an impact on congressional representation over the next decade.
I am proud of the fact that Queens is the most multi-ethnic county in America, but our diversity makes it challenging to conduct a census in our borough. In 2000, the mail-in response rate in Queens was 54 percent and in some neighborhoods it was below 40 percent. Both recent immigrants and longtime residents were under-counted. We must do better in 2010.
At this time of the year, I am joining with the U.S. Census Bureau, the NYC 2010 Census Office and our many Census Task Forces and calling upon trusted faith leaders to incorporate the Census into their sermons and messages. I have also launched a Queens Complete Count Committee made up of local leaders who are spreading the word that the one-page Census form — which will arrive in our mailboxes in March — is short, safe and confidential.
For more information or the Queens Complete Count Committee, please contact my office at 718-286-3000 or visit queensbp.org. To access resources on the U.S. Census Bureau and the 100 Day Countdown or to apply for a Census job, visit census.org.
Happy holidays and thank you for helping to ensure a complete count in Queens.
©2009 Community News Group
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