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March 16 2020
Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], (347) 361-9983

New Yorkers began receiving official mail from the United States Census Bureau over the past week

Census can be filled out online and by phone

New York, N.Y. (March 16, 2020)— As the world grapples with how to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and New Yorkers are encouraged to practice social distancing, Citizens Union, New York’s preeminent nonpartisan good government group, encouraged New Yorkers to remember to complete the 2020 census.

“As New York and the entire world deal with an unprecedented situation, Citizens Union encourages all New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. One way you can help your community while practicing social distancing is by checking your mailbox, and following the instructions to fill out your census form online or over the phone,” said Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director of Citizens Union. “While people are at home spending time with their families and roommates, there has never been a better time to fill out the census!”

This past week, households began receiving official mail from the United States Census Bureau detailing how to respond to the 2020 census online, by phone or by mail. The census will be used to determine – for the next decade – how much federal funding communities get for critical social services, like food assistance for needy families, early childhood education, and transportation infrastructure, and the number of congressional seats and electoral college votes each state receives.

The importance of the census is underlined by the COVID-19 pandemic. The census determines the number of hospital beds, and health resources — like COVID-19 testing kits — communities need. An accurate count could not be more important. Respondents should count all living persons in their household on their census form, including newborn babies born on or after April 1st and preschool aged children.

As we try to stem the impact of COVID-19, it is important you fill out your census form as soon as possible.  This action ensures that a census worker won’t have to knock on your door to help you fill out your form.  

“While the coronavirus outbreak merits a serious response from all levels of government, it is important that we not lose sight of how critical the census is to our city and state. We need all New Yorkers to be counted to ensure that we get our fair share of federal funding. Young children are one of the most undercounted groups when it comes to the census, so please make sure you count all people in your household when completing your form,” Gotbaum added.

For follow up or to schedule a phone interview with a Citizens Union staff member, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at [email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union (CU) has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at


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