(Paterson, New Jersey) – On December 18th, 2019, the Passaic County Complete Count Committee, formed earlier this year to prepare county residents to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census, launched its 2020 effort. The Commission, headed by co-chairs Dr. Khyati Joshi and Miguel Diaz, were joined by Passaic County Freeholder Director John Bartlett, to launch and present the 2020 Passaic County multilingual Census videos.

“This is the beginning of a months-long effort to make sure everyone in Passaic County knows how important it is to respond to the U.S. Census,” said Freeholder Director John Bartlett. “When residents fill out the Census form, they are letting the government know how to allocate more than $900 billion dollars over the next decade for education, infrastructure, law enforcement, economic development, and social services, among other services. We need to count everyone, to make sure Passaic County gets the resources we need.”

In 2010, New Jersey was undercounted, particularly in hard to count areas in Passaic County, including Paterson and Passaic. Ethnic minority groups like Arab, Bangladeshi, Latinx and South Asian communities fall under what the Census Bureau refers to as “HTC” or “hard to count” groups. An undercount negatively impact those communities and the entire county, by reducing resources and representation.

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The Census videos were recorded in the five most spoken languages in Passaic County: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Gujarati. The videos are a collaborative effort with Passaic County Community College’s Communications Department, headed by Professor Walter Behr.

“Starting next month, the Passaic County Complete Count Committee will be reaching out to train community leaders as Census ambassadors, provide Census kiosks where residents can fill out the on-line census form for their household, and working hard to get the message out on social media,” said CCC Co-Chair Dr. Khyati Joshi.

Census ambassadors will include teachers and child care providers, clergy and faith leaders, doctors and pharmacists, and others whose work brings them in contact with hard-to-count communities like children, the elderly, and immigrants, Joshi explained.

The U.S. Census is a decennial count of every resident of the United States, regardless of citizenship or legal status. According to the Census Bureau, residents will be receiving the Census form by mail starting in March of 2020. Residents will also have the option of filling out the Census form online, via phone and at various Passaic County kiosks, which will be announced on the Passaic County website and social media platforms as they are determined. 

Readers can view the videos and contact the Complete Count Committee by visiting www.passaiccountynj.org/census.