Today, on the steps of Town Hall, an amassment of Babylon’s elected officials (State, County, Town and Villages) announced an unprecedented, bipartisan initiative to call on residents to participate in the 2020 Census. For decades, resident participation in the Town has been among the lowest of Long Island’s townships, leaving millions of dollars in federal funding on the table that would have otherwise been diverted to improve services such as education and transportation. With local government and school district budgets experiencing significant stresses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for every one of the Town’s residents to be represented in the census to maximize federal funding.
“We need our residents to understand how important it is for them to respond to the census, but especially this year with local budgets being so greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “Our Town has missed out on tens of millions of dollars over the past several decades due to poor participation and it is completely within our power to reverse this historical, negative trend. Fill out the census today for a brighter tomorrow.”
In decades past, Town of Babylon approximates that only 60 percent of its residents are counted in the census. With the amount of federal funding hinging on more participation, the Town of Babylon has launched an aggressive initiative to help residents understand the importance of participation. The Town has launched a social media campaign as well as posted billboards throughout the area to serve as reminders of the importance of the census and how they can submit their information.
“The census form is very simple to fill out and typically takes less than 10 minutes,” added Supervisor Schaffer. “That is a very minor time investment to uphold your civic duties, especially since it is one that will provide a significant financial return if everyone in the Town participates.”
Beginning tomorrow, August 11, census staff members will begin door-to-door data capturing for all those households that have not already filled out the 2020 census. Additionally, the federal government’s decision to move submission deadlines a month early increases the desperation to raise response rates and get as many people to fill it out as quickly as possible.
Click here to watch the announcement. To learn more about the Town of Babylon’s efforts, visit this page.