Statewide Conference On Census Draws More Than 200 Diverse Stakeholders
On June 10, 2018, New York Counts 2020 hosted the “Making New York Count”, a statewide conference at New York Law School, drawing more than 200 diverse stakeholders and notable speakers. The day kicked off with a special presentation by Jeff. T Behler, Director of the New York Regional Office of the U.S. Census Bureau, followed by an engaging discussion with Mr. Behler and a panel of national and local civic engagement and census planning experts. The panelists inquired about what actions would be taken to ensure a fair and accurate count in New York and raised their concerns about adequate Census funding, needed community partnerships, and the citizenship question.
A total of eight breakout sessions were held:
- What's at Stake for Everyone in New York?
- Models of Successful Outreach to Hard-to-Count Communities
- How to Integrate Census Education and Outreach into An Organization's Existing Programs
- Protecting and Empowering Our Communities Using Data and Technology
- The Symbiosis Between Business and the Census
- How Effective Messaging Translates into Action
- Private Philanthropy and the Census
- Meeting of NY Counts 2020 member organizations
The Lunch Plenary highlighted partnerships between community organizations and state and local governments to support census education and outreach. Chancellor Richard A. Carranza of the New York City Department of Education gave a grounding speech about the legacies of injustices against minorities, and promised to do his part to promote the census. To conclude the event, Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson gave a boisterous speech urging people to mobilize and do their part in their communities, while the government will work to fund their efforts. The day ended with a cocktail reception where Steven Rubenstein, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York affirmed the commitment of business to also seeking a fair and accurate Census.
The conference was attended by racial, ethnic and religious community organizations, social service groups, representatives from a variety of state and local government agencies, the private business sector, private foundations, and students. This successful conference could not have happened without the generous support of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) and The New York Community Trust.