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Catholic Charities New York Leads Community Building Through Interfaith Census Efforts

by Lori Davis and Sophia Theriault

3 Min Read. As the 2020 U.S. Census approaches, participation awareness is a key element to accurately record communities of color and immigrants. Catholic Charities formed the Interfaith Census 2020 Count Coalition to maximize participation in the 2020 Census. This Coalition will connect faith leaders helping hard-to-reach communities and raise awareness about the importance of the Census.

The main goal is to improve accuracy and participation in the upcoming count. Educating constituents, providing peer support, maintaining a local presence, and engaging the media with a united voice are the ways in which faith leaders will approach this topic.

The Census helps determine the allocation of seats in the US House of Representatives and shapes decisions regarding the allocation of federal financial assistance. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York relies on contributions of the federal government to advocate for quality human services and programs.

If there were to be a loss of federal funding, then there would be a reduction or even elimination of crucial programs and have a significant impact on the ability of non-profit agencies to deliver quality services to vulnerable populations. In the 2010 Census, New York lost 2 congressional seats and over $1.5 billion annually in federal aid. Current projections for the 2020 Census show that New York may lose 2 additional seats. It is imperative that all communities are accurately represented.

Drawing together faith leaders and building a strong coalition are vital components. On June 18, the first meeting took to lay the foundations for a strategic faith-based plan. Catholic Charities of New York will convene a larger group of interfaith leaders, city and state officials and key influencers to help determine their roles as they move forward as a collective to help ensure communities are accurately represented.
 

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