Bronx WorksTo Improve Census Count
Cumberbatch's presentation showed that in the 1990 and 2000 Census significant areas in the Bronx were undercounted with less than 40% of the households counted in Highbridge, University Heights, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Mount Hope, West Tremont,
South Bronx, Soundview/Castle Hill and Parkchester.
[New York. Census: Op-Ed]
The Bronx is looking to improve its participation rate in this year's Census operations.
On Wednesday March 3rd, 2010 Stacey Cumberbatch, City Census Coordinator with the City of New York Census Office facilitated a training at the Bronx Borough Hall.
Using a power point presentation, Ms. Cumberbatch conveyed to her audience the importance of getting counted and the financial need for a full count in New York
City in the 2010 Census.
The audience was primarily members of the 12 Neighborhood Advisory Boards in the Bronx. The Neighborhood Advisory Boards are local bodies of community residents that advise the Department of Youth and Community Development on the community distribution of Federal Community block grants that are allocated based on Census
Cumberbatch’s presentation showed that in the 1990 and 2000 Census significant areas in the Bronx were undercounted with less than 40% of the households counted in Highbridge, University Heights, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Mount Hope, West Tremont, South Bronx, Soundview/Castle Hill and Parkchester.
Sadly, these are among the most densely populated areas of the Bronx. The undercount resulted in significant loss of resources for schools, libraries, fire houses and sanitation services, as well as the amount of community block grants awarded to the borough.
This practice also reveals the failure of the common practice of limiting civic participation advocacy to electoral politics i.e., of getting folks to register to vote and getting out the vote on Election Day. Limiting civic participation to voting does not serve the broader interests of the community. In a borough where over 30% of the population are foreign born and many residents including legal residents never become naturalized citizens, voting is not an option for them.
A more inclusive civic event is participation in the Census. Everyone counts, regardless of immigration and resident status. The only requirement is that you be
living in the Bronx on April 1st, 2010.
The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) and Catholic Charities affiliates in the Highbridge section of the Bronx will engage in a
Muslim/Catholic community project, working together as food security and hunger relief service providers in Highbridge to ensure that all the clients they serve
complete the Census forms and return them.
This partnership project is part of a larger Muslim/Catholic dialogue project developed by the Interfaith Center of New York. MWIRD is also a Questionnaire Assistance Center location for the 2010 Census. A Census worker will be present at the organization’s office location, 1363 Ogden
Avenue in Highbridge, Monday through Friday 9am-5pm during March 15th through April 30th, 2010 to assist with Census Questionnaire completion.
MWIRD, a community partner with the 2010 Census, is also a drop off site for completed forms. You count; make that count.
Nurah-Rosalie P. Jeter Amat'ullah is Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development-MWIRD
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