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New York Counts 2020 Supports Brooklyn Borough President’s Launch of Complete Count Committee: “ Make Brooklyn Count - 100%”

On the morning of Tuesday, October 23rd, forty stakeholders representing Brooklyn’s faith-based, community, and labor groups assembled at Brooklyn Borough Hall to kick off the newly-formed Brooklyn Complete Count Committee. To prepare for the kick off, many attending had viewed the webinar,”Every Brooklynite Counts!”, prepared by New York Counts 2020 members, New York Immigration Coalition and Center for Law and Social Justice.

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Liz OuYang, New York Counts 2020 Coordinator, Lurie Favors, of NYC BLAC and Center for Law and Social Justice, joined other New York Counts 2020 members: Bob Kaplan, State & Local Gov’t Co-Chair and Director of Jewish Community Relations Council, Jeff Wice, NY Counts 2020 Senior Advisor and Fellow of SUNY Rockefeller Institute, Steven Romalewski, Data Committee member and Director of CUNY Mapping Service, in presenting and Academy of Medical and Public Health Services, Arab American Association of New York, Brooklyn Public Library, The Black Institute, and YMCA NYC in attending the kick off.

Pastor Gilford Monrose, Director of Faith-Based & Clergy Initiatives at the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and Cecilia Clarke, President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundations, co-chairs of the Brooklyn Complete Counts Committee and members of New York Counts 2020, welcomed the crowd.

Next, Wice and Romalewski gave a run-down of the crucial role of complete count committees and hard-to-count data mapping in getting out the count.

Favors then laid out the importance of a fair and equitable count when it comes to Brooklyn’s political power and federal funding in the next decade, emphasizing that African-American communities have been historically under-counted by the government.

OuYang described the resources that New York Counts 2020, a broad-based coalition of over 80 organizations, could provide in support of local count efforts within Brooklyn’s Complete Count Committee. She mentioned train-the-trainer workshops, social media and training toolkits, as well as essential census updates, packing the courtroom in the upcoming trial challenging the citizenship question on the census, and opportunities to get involved in state-level advocacy for community group funding.

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams ended the presentations with a rousing speech to rally his new members. He analogized the barriers to completing the census, including fear of deportation and fear of arrest, to dams, “They are so sophisticated in preventing the overall goal and often time we wait until the eve of the count to start the process of removing the dams and identifying the obstacles. Not this time.”  

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Afterwards, participants filed onto the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the press conference. Brooklyn Borough President Adams chanted, “Make Brooklyn Count!” To which the crowd called back, “100 percent!”








Elizabeth Plum