Seven Jersey City mayors weighed in on why it’s crucial that residents participate in the 2020 U.S. Census at a press conference earlier today, with all dignitaries noting that there is nothing to lose and much to gain.
“We have to keep working and we need to be able to accept all of the people who are here: whether they are citizens, are not citizens, whether they were born here, or [if] they were born somewhere else,” noted Board of Education Trustee Marilyn Roman, the city’s acting mayor between February and June of 1992.
“I don’t know if you realize it or not: about 10 years ago we were only about 4,000 citizens short of Newark. I think we have to try to impress upon the citizens of Jersey City to really get this census going to again become the largest city in New Jersey – we’re close,” added Joseph Rakowski, another succeed Roman as acting mayor until November of 1992.
Officials said today that for every resident not accounted for, the city will lose out on approximately $15,000 in federal funding over the next 10 years, when the 2030 Census will be conducted.
Brett Schundler, the mayor between 1992 and 2001, stated that the sense of Jersey City pride across the city would come with some “extra swagger” if named the largest municipality in the sate.
” … It’s hard to imagine that our pride will increase more than it already is, but I really think we’ll have a little bit of extra swagger when we are just the best, but the biggest.”
Steven Fulop, the current mayor first elected in 2013, indicated that he wanted as many of his predecessors present as possible to share their unique perspectives and experiences as to why this census matters.
L. Harvey Smith, a former state assemblyman and the acting mayor between Mayor 2004 and Nov. 2004, echoed previous points about making sure that residents participate in the census regardless of their immigration status.
“One of the things that’s very important: there’s no feat [in] filling out a census form. And there’s a lot going on in this country right now, that’s another fear. A lot of people new to the country, new to the area, have a feat of that.”
Gerald McCann, who served two non-consecutive terms as mayor in the 80s and 90s, along with Jerramiah Healy, who held office between 2004 and 2013, were also present for the media event.
Just over a year ago, Jersey City officials announced that a census office would be coming to the city by the middle of 2019 and Fulop reiterated today that program was moving full speed ahead.
Census taker positions are part-time, temporary employment paying up to $22 per hour and funded by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Meanwhile, the data all Census workers collect is used to determine how over $800 billion in federal, state and local money for programs like Medicaid, Head Start, WIC, SNAP, housing vouchers, educational grants, Community Block Grants, Title 1, and more is distributed among communities throughout the nation.
The government also uses the census data to apportion representation in the United States House of Representatives.
Beginning March 12, 2020, the Census Bureau will mail a unique user ID to most U.S. households. This will allow heads of households to complete the form online, by mail, or by phone ahead of Census Day, which is April 1, 2020.
The majority of the presser streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed below: