Mayor Steven Fulop, city council members, and officials from the U.S. Census sought to mobilize volunteer efforts on “Jersey City Census Day” in one of the least counted tracts in Hudson County.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
Following President Donald Trump’s (R) proclamation that undocumented immigrants shouldn’t count towards congressional district apportionment, Fulop encouraged residents to participate in the 2020 Census to secure funding for public safety, health services, and public transportation, among other resources.
“We continue to struggle in certain census tracks. It highlights the challenge in more economic-challenged communities to trust the process, which is important for federal funding long-term,” Fulop said at a press conference near the Holland Gardens this morning.
“We’re in a place where people feel insignificant. And so we’re here to let them know they’re very important in this process. You will shape our future. We need your voice right here,” added Council President Joyce Watterman.
Fulop said he believed once the Census is counted, Jersey City will emerge as the largest city in the state. Newark edged out Jersey City in 2010, but the mayor – who was the Ward E Councilman back then – said he felt they were undercounted the last time around.
“Your voice is important here. We need more schools, more hospitals, more programs,” Waterman also said.
COVID-19 has hurt census outreach efforts since many planned in-person events have been canceled.
“We’re all in this together. These are trying and demanding times for everyone,” stated Councilman-at-large Rolando Lavarro.
“We need the people of Jersey City to step up in this. It could be the difference between us having representation in Congress or not.”
After the 2010 census, New Jersey ended up losing a congressional seat.
“We’re out here trying to bring awareness to the community,” said Census Team Leader Deja Anderson. She added they’re working with community partners as well to spread awareness.
In that neighborhood where the press conference was held, officials said they believe only 33.3 percent of people have filled out their Census: compared to 56 percent complete for Hudson County, 62 percent for the state, and 64 percent nationally.
Anderson further stated that tract in 2010 had a 62 percent completion rate.
The neighborhood includes a variety of housing, such as single-family houses, affordable housing, and high-rises.
“It’s very ethnically diverse and reflects Jersey City as a whole,” she said.
During the presser, is was also noted that undocumented immigrants are reluctant to fill the Census out, in part due to a language barrier.
“Those with the least need the Census the most. It’s up to us to try to get things moving,” Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) added.