Trump’s 2020 census gambit foiled

Deadline has been restored to Oct. 31

After a federal court ruling on Oct. 1, the 2020 Census will be returned to its original end date of Oct. 31. Census workers were set to 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 until an appellate court upheld a lower court’s ruling to extend the census.

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On Sept. 28, the Census Bureau said the 2020 Census would conclude on Oct. 5. However, on Oct. 1, following the federal appellate court ruling, the Census Bureau announced the count would continue until Oct. 31.

Get counted, Bayonne!

In his weekly COVID-19 video update on Oct. 7, Mayor James Davis told the community that the 2020 Census had been extended and urged residents to be counted.

During September, when the deadline was still in question, Davis urged residents to “act as though the census deadline remains September 30.”

“The #2020Census has been extended to October 31st!,” Davis said. “There’s still time to make a difference for your community.”

The city needs a high census response to receive vital federal funding, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis and the city have hosted a number of events, most recently a food truck countdown party, to get residents counted.

“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.”

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 Oct. 9, 61.5 percent of Bayonne residents had responded. By comparison, New Jersey has a 69.2 percent response rate.

In Hudson County, Bayonne currently ranks fifth; Secaucus 69.7 percent; Hoboken 69 percent; Guttenberg 61.8 percent; West New York 61.6 percent; Bayonne 61.5 percent; Weehawken 60.8 percent; North Bergen 60.4 percent; Union City 57.5 percent; and Jersey City 55.9 percent.

Of Bayonne respondents, 51,6 percent responded online.

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.”

‘Do it now!’

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

Respond 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.

In September, the Census Bureau sent out 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.

Since August, census workers have been 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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