JERSEY CITY, NJ - Mayor Steven Fulop isn’t taking a citywide census response rate that stands at just 50 percent sitting down.
In fact, on Thursday Fulop took to Jersey City’s most undercounted area, which includes a mix of public housing, high rise luxury residences, and single family homes, to personally knock on doors to get residents counted.
“We get one shot at this,” Fulop said of the once a decade effort that in 2010 left Jersey City severely undercounted. His message was a simple one, residents “can trust the process which is important for funding long term.”
The mayor was joined by five members of the Jersey City City Council, including President Joyce Waterman who said that people often feel “insignificant.”
They can change that, and their community, she said, by taking the 10 minutes to be counted. “You have the power and ability to shape the future of this area,” she said.
Council members Rolando Lavarro, Mira Prinz-Arey, Jermaine Robinson, and James Solomon were also on hand, a signal, Fulop shared, of the importance the entire city government is putting on the effort.
Several residents were in the area as the group spread throughout the courtyard and moved from building to building. Among them was Denise Mosby who said she knew the census was happening, somewhat by hearing about it watching Sesame Street with her children, but had not really understood the importance of it locally. That changed Thursday, and, after spending a few minutes with one of the census takers present, she completed the 10 questions online.
While Belinda Council and Donna Taylor Davis have already submitted their census responses, they want others to know they should also, especially now. “It’s so important in this pandemic,” Council said. “This area is beat down,” she added, citing lack of public transportation and an unsafe walk to schools for children that live their.
For those afraid to do it, fear being a tactic they both believe President Donald Trump has employed to keep numbers down, Davis said “do it for your family.”
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