The U.S. Census' 2020 head count should be extended by Congress to ensure a full survey of the public, Sen. Alessandra Biaggi on Monday said.
The call for a Census extension comes amid concerns raised throughout last year of an undercount among people of color, immigrant communities and low-income neighborhoods. The process was made all the more complicated by the pandemic.
At stake is nothing short of federal aid, all the more important as the state and nation seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic, in addition to former President Trump’s callous campaign to jeopardize the Census, has compromised the processing of the Census data – threatening the quality and accuracy of the count," Biaggi said. "This is a major concern for all New Yorkers, but especially in the Bronx where our communities have been historically undercounted and need all the federal resources we can get to recover from the devastation wrought by COVID-19."
At the same time, New York could lose up to two seats in the House of Representatives given the state's lagging population growth compared to the rest of the country.
Biaggi also called for President Joe Biden to appoint a permanent Census director in addition to extending the count.
"Taking these two actions will restore certainty to the process, and provide the Census Bureau with the necessary time to do its due diligence in producing the most accurate and fair data possible," she said.