Elected officials lead 2020 Census caravan throughout the Bronx

Elected officials before the caravan begins.
Photos by Jason Cohen

Two weeks before the 2020 Census deadline, elected officials and advocates hosted a car caravan through hard-to-count communities in the Bronx to encourage participation.

On Sept. 16, Senator Alessandra Biaggi was joined by the Office of NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and women leaders of the Bronx, including Assemblywomen Nathalia Fernandez and Karines Reyes, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and community organizations and advocates.

The caravan began with a press conference in Hunts Point and made stops in Morris Park, Parkchester, Westchester Square and Schuylerville to provide census information to businesses and residents. The caravan concluded in Throggs Neck.

“We’re here today to kick off the census caravan because we’re only a few days away from the Sept. 30 deadline,” Biaggi said. She pointed out normally the census count runs through October, but the Trump administration shortened it. “We want to make sure the Bronx counts in the census.”

The senator explained that right now only 66 percent of New York has filled out the census, while nearly everyone has done it in states like Idaho and West Virginia.

She noted it takes just five minutes to fill out and every household that does is equivalent to $4,000 contributed to the community.

“It’s [the census] about power,” Biaggi said. “It’s about making sure the Bronx has services. It’s about making sure the Bronx has money to fund schools and the streets were standing on.”

Reyes echoed Biaggi’s sentiments.

“We have a community that is a melting pot of immigration and they [the Trump administration] have made it their priority that immigrant communities aren’t counted,” Reyes said. “Our communities need this now more than ever and it is important that we make this a priority.”