The Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC) has issued a notice to its members that many New York buildings are preventing census enumerators—the Census Bureau’s carefully trained and vetted workers who visit households in person to collect census information from those who have not yet submitted by mail or online—from entering the building, despite having the requisite credentials.
Why does this matter? Because full census participation is essential for states and communities to receive the funding and Congressional representation that their populations merit - and are entitled to. A census must be conducted every 10 years according to United States federal law.
This decade, collection of census data happened to coincide with the emergence of the coronavirus crisis in our state. Although New Yorkers have had six months to easily submit household information either online or by phone or by completing census forms that have been mailed at least once to every household, according to CNYC, New York City and State are still woefully underrepresented in the count.
Census enumerators are now visiting all households that have not completed the census to get their information in person. The NYC Office of the Census has reached out to CNYC directly to remind property owners and building managers that federal law requires that they grant access to census enumerators. All staff responsible for building access should be notified of the Census Bureau’s current operations and requirements and instructed to allow access for the census.
Since census participation is in the best interest of all New Yorkers, the CNYC also asks building owners and managers to encourage residents to complete the census form if they haven’t yet done so—it takes only minutes to complete online or by phone and will avoid a door knock! CNYC recommends sending a reminder email to all residents and allowing the placement of census posters in common areas to encourage participation.