“An accurate census count is critically important to the future of our region. The Mid-Hudson Valley Census 2020 Fund – supported by a range of local foundations and businesses – will enable us to support the work of trusted community groups and leaders as they mobilize to ensure a complete count.” — Sally Cross, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, Vice President, Philanthropy
Over $700 billion of federal funds are directed to local communities each year based on census data – with $53 billion of that coming to New York State. The decennial census – mandated by the US Constitution – is meant to be a full count of every person living in the United States. But research suggests that the 2010 census didn’t count as many as one million children under age five, among other undercounts. Communities that aren’t counted completely miss out on their fair share of that funding, as well as potentially losing political representation during the redistricting process that follows the decennial census. To ensure that the population of the Mid-Hudson Valley is fully counted, the Dyson Foundation committed $100,000 over the past two years to create the Mid-Hudson Valley Census 2020 Fund at the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. This fund, established in conjunction with other Mid-Hudson Valley funders, will support a variety of outreach and mobilization efforts, all focused on making sure we achieve a complete count in the region.
There are real concerns that the 2020 Census will again undercount New York State’s population. Concerns include likely undercounts of young children, immigrants, and those living in “hard to count” communities that have been historically underrepresented. In the Hudson Valley alone, more than a quarter million residents live in such communities. In addition, the new online response format could limit whether certain groups of people – especially seniors, people with low incomes, and people in very rural areas – will respond because of the lack of internet access or digital privacy concerns.
This Dyson Foundation project grant falls under the Public Policy funding theme.