For Immediate Release:
Novenber 10, 1999
PLAN FOR ACCURATE 2000 CENSUS
HISPANIC FEDERATION AND U.S. CENSUS MONITORING BOARD HOST PANEL ON 2000
CENSUS PARTICIPATION IN NYC
MEMBER ROBERTO RAMIREZ, MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT VIRGINA FIELDS, COUNCIL
MEMBER AND FINANCE CHAIR HERBERT BERMAN, COUNCIL MEMBER ADOLFO CARRION AND
COUNCIL MEMBER HELEN MARSHALL AMONG DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS
CITY -- The Hispanic Federation, Inc., in conjunction with the U.S. Census
Monitoring Board, hosted a forum today bringing some of New York City's top
elected officials, community leaders and the U.S. Census Bureau together to
discuss strategies to ensure that every New Yorker is counted in the 2000
April 1, 2000 - the official Census Day - less than five months away, participants
discussed the unique challenges facing New York City and community-based solutions
to ensure a more accurate count in 2000.
work in partnership with community leaders to educate the public on how the
census affects our everyday lives," said Gilbert F. Casellas, Presidential
Co-Chair of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board and Member of the Board of Directors
of the Hispanic Federation. "Many do not realize that the information collected
in the census is used to allocate funding for schools, highways, hospitals,
and other essential services. Tragically, an undercount represents a significant
loss of federal funds to the communities that need them most."
Monitoring Board is a bipartisan oversight body created in 1997 to oversee
preparations for the implementation of the 2000 census. It is composed of
eight members, four appointed by Congress and four appointed by the President
of the United States.
Left to right -- Ev Ehrlich CMBP Member, Gilbert Casellas CMBP Co-Chair,
Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez, President of the Hispanic Federation, Inc.
to the Census Bureau, the 1990 census did not count more than 8.4 million
people and counted 4.4 million people twice. The majority of those overlooked
were children, the poor and people of color. In New York City, the Census
missed about 245,000 - that is more than 3 percent of the city's population.
As a result of this undercount, New York lost more than $415 million in federal
funds during the 1990s.
of New York's children were missed in the 1990 census," noted Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez,
President of the Hispanic Federation, Inc. "That is why the Hispanic Federation
has taken a leadership role in promoting an accurate census. A strong working
partnership between the Census Bureau and New York's community-based organizations
can only improve the 2000 census results."
the forum, Tony Farthing, New York Regional Director, U.S. Census Bureau,
discussed ways in which community groups can empower their communities by
taking ownership of the census and work in partnership with the Census Bureau
to ensure a more accurate count.
decennial census is a process that the Census Bureau must do with the nation,
not to the nation," noted Dr. Everett M. Ehrlich, U.S. Census Monitoring Board
Member and former Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department
of Commerce. "The best information on how to count a community comes from
that community, not Washington D.C. That is why the Census Bureau needs to
enlist the cooperation and support of every community for Census 2000."
Farthing's presentation, a series of elected officials and community leaders
spoke about the importance of an accurate census to New York City, the unique
challenges in counting New York's diverse urban population and current community-based
efforts to ensure an accurate census count in 2000.
hearing the panelists, I was impressed by the unique characteristics that
make New York City a hard-to-enumerate area," said Casellas. "New York's high
levels of population mobility combined with a large immigration population
pose a significant challenge for the Census Bureau."
the distinguished panelists that spoke were Assembly Member Roberto Ramirez;
Manhattan Borough President Virgina Fields; Council Member and Finance Chair
Herbert Berman; Council Member Adolfo Carrion; and Council Member Helen Marshall,
Co-Chair of the Black and Latino Caucus.
participating were Margaret Chin, Executive Director, Asian Americans for
Equality; Margie McHugh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition;
Fr. Kevin Sullivan, COO, Catholic Charities; John Flateau, Dean of External
Relations, Medgar Evers College of CUNY and Michael Amezquita, Executive Director,
Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants' Rights.
members of the Census Monitoring Board were Co-Chair Gilbert Casellas; Co-Chair
Ken Blackwell and Member Dr. Everett M. Ehrlich.
forum was one of a series of activities sponsored by the U.S. Census Monitoring
Board in a nationwide effort to help communities achieve a more accurate count
the Hispanic Federation The Hispanic Federation, Inc. is a membership
organization of more than 62 Hispanic health and human service agencies in
New York and New Jersey.
Contact: Brian Krapf,
George Arzt Communications, Inc., (212) 608-0333
U.S. Census Monitoring Board, (202) 256-1608