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Bayonne to host Census 2020 countdown party

Featuring a Corn Guys food truck

Census workers have been knocking on doors since August. Photo by Shutterstock.

A Census 2020 countdown party will be held in Bayonne on Sunday, Sept. 27, Mayor Jimmy Davis announced.

The party will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Kopcinski Park, near 19th Street and Broadway. The event is cosponsored by the county and the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF).

The event will feature a Corn Guys food truck offering free meals to the first 150 households who complete the census.

Meal vouchers are limited to 150, so come early.

Other participants can purchase food and soft drinks. The Corn Guys will offer grilled corn, hot dogs, and sodas.

Free corn for completing the census

“This event will give Bayonne residents who have not been counted in the census an opportunity to do so, along with a nice meal from a
food truck,” Davis said. “Those who have been counted already in the census can come to buy good American food as we celebrate Census 2020.”

Davis thanked the Hudson County government and the BEOF for co-sponsoring this Census 2020 countdown party.

Davis continued: “I hope that numerous Bayonne residents will take advantage of this opportunity to be counted in Census 2020. We want all of our residents to be counted in the census before September 30.”

The Bayonne event is one of 12 the county is sponsoring in each Hudson County municipality before the census deadline of September 30.

The event will go on rain or shine. The county will provide three tents for cover in case of inclement weather. There will be ten stand-up tables for those who want a place to eat onsite.

Face masks and social distancing will be required.

Event partners include Hudson County 2020 Census, the BEOF, the City of Bayonne, U.S. Census 2020, New Jersey Census 2020, the Act Now Foundation, Women Rising, and the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers.

Exceeding 2010 Census 

As the 2020 Census draws to a close, Bayonne’s count is roughly equal to 2010 Census numbers.

“In Census 2010, more than 60 percent of our residents sent in their census forms,” Davis said. “Let’s try to match and exceed that number this year.”

As of Sept. 17, 60.5 percent of Bayonne residents had responded. By comparison, New Jersey has a 68.3 percent response rate.

In Hudson County, Bayonne currently ranks third; Secaucus 68.7 percent; Hoboken 67.7 percent; Bayonne 60.5 percent; West New York 60.2 percent; Guttenberg 60.2 percent; Weehawken 59.4 percent; North Bergen 59.2 percent; Union City 56.1 percent; and Jersey City 54.7 percent.

Of the Bayonne respondents, 50.8 percent were online.

Census ending early?

This year, the census count will end early. Census workers will finish counting on Wednesday, Sept. 30, due to an order by President Trump.

On Sept. 5, a federal judge in California put a temporary hold on Trump’s decision to end the census early instead of on Oct. 31. The case continued on Sept. 17.

“It would be helpful to have another month to get everyone counted,” Davis said. “To be on the safe side, we should act as though the census deadline remains September 30.”

The city needs a high census response rate to receive vital federal funding, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our community needs your help,” Davis said. “You need to be counted now, or the City of Bayonne could miss out on millions of dollars during the next ten years.”

What’s at stake

“Bayonne receives its own Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the federal government,” Davis said. “That grant is based on our population size. We get more than $1 million per year from that grant.”

For Bayonne, the anticipated CDBG allocation for 2020 is approximately $1.4 million. The block grant funds street-paving, senior citizen meal programs, and housing rehabilitation, among other programs.

“If our official population count were to fall below 50,000, we would no longer get our own Community Development Block Grant,” Davis said.

Medicare Part B, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), and highway planning and construction also use federal funds.

“Census information helps determine federal funding for Special Education and Title I, a program that funds basic skills education,” Davis said. “Census numbers are used to calculate the federal-state mixture of funding for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Transitional Aid to Needy Families.”

Get counted!

Residents can respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, through the census form, or by a census taker.

Residents can go online at www.2020census.gov.

To be counted by phone, dial 844-330-2020 for English; 844-468-2020 for Spanish; 844-479-2020 for Polish; 844-416-2020 for Arabic; and 844-478-2020 for Tagalog.

This month, the Census Bureau will send paper census forms one more time to people who have not been counted. Residents who receive a paper form should fill it out and mail it in.

In August, census workers began fanning out across Bayonne to visit residences that have not responded to the census. Census workers can be recognized by their Census 2020 ID badges which show expiration dates.

Census workers will be on hand to count Bayonne residents at food distributions and musical events in DiDomenico-16th St. Park.

“Everybody counts,” Davis said. “It’s time to get counted. Do it now!”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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