In 2010, nearly half a million Latino children under the age of four were not counted. If these children are not counted in the 2020 Census, it could have serious effects on their schools and educational resources, fair representation in Congress, and the enforcement of civil rights policies that affect underrepresented communities.
The New Jersey government has set aside $2.45 million for a statewide census outreach campaign, but it may not be enough. A new article from NJ Spotlight reports that over three times that amount may be necessary to pay for the kind of outreach the state needs to educate the public about the importance of the U.S. Census.
Many advocacy groups have suggested to Governor Murphy that New Jersey needs to spend $9 million—about $1 per person living in the state—for a multimedia, multilingual campaign. Over a dozen lawmakers have proposed a new law to increase the state’s census funding.
Many of New Jersey’s cities are considered as “hard-to-count” because of the way their residents responded to the Census ten years ago. Fewer than 50% of Patersonians mailed back their Census forms in 2010. Next City spoke with Inge Spungen at the Paterson Alliance about the challenges facing our city as we approach the 2020 Census, and how cities across the country are giving their undercounted residents a voice.