Officials Begin City Census Process

City and community officials are starting a process that has been done every 10 years since 1790.

On Thursday, a 2020 Census roundtable meeting took place with city and state officials who discussed the count process with the Complete Count Committee, which contains local community stakeholders.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said Census Day in 2020 will be April 1. He said during past Census years, the April 1 day to determine how many people live in the community was a hindrance for the city because several “snowbirds” were still residing in warmer climates and college students were still away at school.

Teresi said it is always a concern for city officials to be undercounted because the number of city residents determines how much state aid and sales tax revenues the city receives.

“We need every head and body counted in Chautauqua County,” he said.

Richard Tobe, State Operations for Special Projects deputy director, said it is very important to have an accurate Local Update of Census Addresses, which is also known as LUCA. He said it is important for community residents to help the federal Census Bureau know every apartment building, assisted living community and mobile village so a location with potentially several residences, but only one actual address gets counted accurately. He added the Census is not just one entity handling all the responsibilities, but a grassroots effort of several community organizations that will work toward attaining an accurate count.

Linda Berk, New York Region Office partnership specialist, said the Census Bureau will count around 330 million people in 140 housing units. She said the count will determine how many members of the House of Representatives each state will have, defines district boundaries, how $675 billion in federal funding is allocated and provides statistical insight and benchmarks.

Berk said for the first time the Census will be available though an online form. She said each person’s Census response is protected and is only used to produce statistics.

The information from the 2020 Census will be made available to the public in March 2021.

“We will count everybody once and in the right place,” she said.

The Complete Count Committee is very important part of the counting process, Berk said. She said the federal Census Bureau relies on the local community to be involved to have accurate information that is necessary to attain an accurate count.

“We rely on the people in the community to be the trusted voices,” she said.

Berk said local offices for the 2020 count are starting to open and they are starting to hire staff.

For more information about New York’s efforts to ensure a full count in 2020, visit www.ny.gov/programs/2020-census.