New York Counts 2020
New York Counts 2020

Call NY Lawmakers

Why We NEED To Call 

An undercount in the 2020 Census can have major impacts on our state’s federal funding and political power, with effects that last for at least a decade. New York Counts 2020 advocated for $40M of state funding, a figure based on research by the Fiscal Policy Institute, to support the community outreach work that needs to take place before the Census 2020. 

In April 2019, the New York State budget allocated $20M for community based outreach for the Census. Five months later, and this funding has yet to be allocated. This money should already be in communities that need to drive education, outreach, and response with the hardest-to-count New Yorkers. TIME IS RUNNING OUT and without pressure from New Yorkers like you, that money, along with our State’s power, influence, and federal funding, could be lost forever. 

Some advocates are hearing that Governor Cuomo plans to spend the $20 million on advertising and state agencies. Whether the money goes to the DMV, Department of Health, Labor, or other state bodies, New York Counts 2020 insists that the State’s hard-to-count communities hold trust in CBOs and libraries. By nature of being hard-to-reach and/or hard-to-count, many of these communities don’t interact with state agencies to begin with. This would be the wrong move for Census 2020 investment and Governor Cuomo needs to hear from you. 

New York Counts 2020 is asking you to drive calls advocating for the Census every Wednesday starting September 25th until an RFP process for funding CBOs is announced. 

Click here to read our letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to provide the bulk of the $20 million allocated for Census 2020 in New York State to CBOs, libraries, and local governments who are badly in need of funds.


Who are we calling? How long will it take? 

Callers will target Governor Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate and Assembly to build pressure. It’s up to Governor Cuomo to release the $20 million, but the urgency must be built on multiple sides. It’s quick and easy to get involved! Use the call to action and the scripts below. 

Legislator District Office Albany Office 
Governor Cuomo 518-474-8390 
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 518-455-2585 914-423-4031 
Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan 631-361-2154 518-455-2071 
Speaker Carl Heastie 718-654-6539 518-455-3791 
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal People-Stokes 716-897-9714 518-455-5005 
Assembly Senate Minority Leader Brian Kolb 315-781-2030 518-455-3751 
Please click here to find the contact information of your State Senator. Please click here to find the contact information of your State Assemblyperson. 

If you have 5 minutes: 
● Call Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390 (press 2) 
● Tweet your call: “I just called @NYGovCuomo to ask - #WheresThe20Million for #Census2020? Communities need that money NOW to be prepared to #GetOutTheCount. New York State's schools, hospitals, power, and influence for the next ten years is at stake! Join me & @NYCounts2020 for a #CompleteCountNOW” 

If you have 10 minutes: 
● Call Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390 (press 2) 
● Call Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585 
● Call Speaker of the Assembly Heastie: 518-455-3791 
● Tweet your call: “I just called @AndreaSCousins @CarlHeastie. They need to ask @NYGovCuomo, #WheresThe20Million for #Census2020? Communities need to be prepared to #GetOutTheCount. @NYCounts2020 knows, OUR schools, OUR hospitals, OUR power, and OUR influence is at stake! We need #CompleteCountNOW”

If you have 15 minutes: 
● Call Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390 (press 2) 
● Call Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585 
● Call Speaker of the Assembly Heastie: 518-455-3791 
● Call your own State Senator: https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator 
● Call your own Assembly Member: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/ 
● Tweet your call: “I just called [@yourlegislator] so they can ask @NYGovCuomo @AndreaSCousins & @CarlHeastie: #WheresThe20Million for #Census2020? Communities need $$$ to #GetOutTheCount. @NYCounts2020 knows NY's schools, hospitals, power, and influence is at stake! We need #CompleteCountNOW” 


What should I say? 

Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390 (press 2) “Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a [resident of your city or your role in the community]. I want to thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of the Census and including $20 million in the budget. However, with less than 200 days until Census 2020, New York needs that $20 million now and community-based organizations and institutions must be the ones to carry out Census outreach and awareness. 

We need Governor Cuomo to put the $20 million toward a community-based, complete count effort now. Will you pass my message to the Governor? Thank you for speaking with me.” 

Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585 Speaker of the Assembly Heastie: 518-455-3791 “Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a [resident of your city or your role in the community]. I want to thank [name of legislator] for recognizing the importance of the Census and including $20 million in the budget, but I am calling today because there are less than 200 days until Census 2020. The Census is important to me because I care about [schools, infrastructure, healthcare, jobs and business, political representation]. 

Will [name of legislator] contact Governor Cuomo and make sure the $20 million goes toward a community-based, complete count effort? 


What else can I say? 

IF SUPPORTIVE: Thank you, we are grateful for [name of legislator]’s leadership. Can [legislator] relay the message to other colleagues and the Governor’s office? Thank you for speaking with me, I look forward to working with you for a complete count for all New Yorkers. 

IF UNSUPPORTIVE OR OTHER:
Excuse:
We are not sure where the legislator lands on the issue right now / There are other competing issues we are working on.
Response: The Census affects our federal funding and electoral districts for a decade. An 8 year old child living with the results of a Census undercount would live with underfunded schools, hospitals, and infrastructure until they are 18. The Governor/Senator/Assembly Member has a responsibility to invest in New York’s future. 

Excuse: Cities and counties know best how to distribute Census money, that’s why the $20 million is going through state agencies.
Response: Community-based providers already have strong relationships with their city and county governments and are often advisors on each locality’s hard-to-reach communities. CBOs also have much more earned-trust with non-native English speakers, the aging, the homeless, and recent arrivals. The Governor/Senator/Assembly Member must ensure accountability and transparency of Census funding, especially because the results of the Census have such long-lasting impact. 

Excuse: Other municipalities are already investing in their own community-based efforts, so we will wait before directing this money elsewhere.
Response: The state will lose much more than money and will suffer long-term damage if we are unprepared for the Census. New York cannot afford to be penny-wise but pound-foolish. The models other municipalities are using should guide how the State invests in other regions and counties to Get Out the Count. The longer the State waits, the harder it will be to get this money on the ground and operational.