Buffalo, NY—Mayor Byron W. Brown supported the decisions by Federal Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California to extend the Census count by another month. The Mayor is also continuing his campaign to encourage more people to complete their census questionnaire by highlighting the impact the census count has on the City of Buffalo’s ability to access federal funding that supports community centers and other neighborhood-based programs that help low-income residents.
Mayor Brown said, “It’s important that people understand the connection between the Census and the services and support systems they rely on. The Delavan-Grider Community Center is a cornerstone of this community and supports many of the parents, young people, and older residents in the surrounding neighborhoods who come here for a variety of programs. If the population who utilizes this center is not accurately reflected in the census count, then it risks losing some of its critically needed funding. That can result in cut-backs to staff, services, and operating hours. The Delavan-Grider Community Center would not be alone in this predicament because if Buffalo is undercounted again, this could happen to other centers across the entire City.”
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds support many of the community centers and other anti-poverty programs that operate throughout Buffalo. The allocation of these funds by the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development are based on population size as well as economic and social demographic information collected by the Census. When people fail to complete and submit their census questionnaire, valuable information that federal agencies use to allocate funding is lost and the residents who are most in need of assistance are often left out of the decision making process. Through the Census, residents have an opportunity to make their voices heard by decision makers in Washington in a manner that is not generally available to them.
Councilmember Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr. said, “Our forefathers and mothers fought so that we could be counted. Let’s not let the fight they fought be in vein. The census is as important to the urban community as being counted by our vote. We lose precious resources when we fail to participate in the process and in-effect weaken the ability of our local government to justify needing funds that are essential to the sustainability of our communities.”
This is the third event in the Mayor’s campaign to increase census completion rates before the count ends on October 31st. The Delavan-Grider Community Center will also be one of the four mask distribution sites residents can go to on Saturday, September 26th to fill out their census form and receive a free face mask for every member of their household. The mask distribution will run from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM here and at these additional locations:
To fill out your census online go to 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 to complete your census questionnaire over the phone. All the information provided to the Census Bureau is safe, confidential, and will not be shared with any other federal agency. October 31st is the last day to complete your census questionnaire.