The 2020 US Census is less than a year away and Buffalo is preparing by holding a local public awareness campaign. That includes a public hearing tomorrow at Waterfront Elementary at 5 p.m.
Buffalo Office of New Americans Director Jessica Lazarin said they’re going to be looking to immigrant communities to help them strategize how local leaders can act as trusted voices.
“We really need you to tell us how we can reach everyone,” said Lazarin. “How we can make sure that everyone, whatever fears or concerns they have about the Census are alleviated. And we want to make sure we give accurate information”
Lazarin added the only thing the Census can be used for is counting the population.
“Already the Census Bureau is reporting that various scams are turning up in different parts of the country,” she said. “And so it’s important that we work together so that our communities know who is the trusted voice. And if I have a question, who do I ask? And if someone is coming to my door early and asking me for personal information, what can I do and how can I report those individuals?”
Lazarin said the Census Bureau will never ask for your entire number social security numbers.
In the last Census period ten years ago, New York State lost congressional seats because the population went down. Mayor Byron Brown said that loss can often be attributed to a loss of federal funds.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will be attending to share the County’s approach for the upcoming Census.