If you love Tribeca, do the census

Here’s the link: my2020census.gov.

It takes about 10 minutes. One person per household. Ten questions. You can do it on your phone. You do NOT need the code that was mailed to your door, despite the fact that the first thing you see is that message. Right below that it says “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.” Click it. (Or click the image below.)

So here’s why: the federal government uses census data to determine all sorts of budget allocations, including how much goes to public schools across the country. Right now Tribeca is logging in at a 50 percent response rate, which is way way below the nationwide average of 63 percent. So that means Iowa just might get a portion of our federal tax dollars when it comes time to dole them out.

But the census also determines the pie slicing for things like senior services, Medicaid, health insurance — and when the time comes, how many COVID-19 vaccines the state will get. There’s no end to the implications of what it could mean to have the state, the city and downtown undercounted.

“This is not a time to be invisible,” said Julie Menin, the former chair (from 2005 to 2012) of CB1 and who is now the city’s director of the census. “This is a five-alarm fire. Every percentage point is worth millions and millions of dollars. The public school system gets $1.5 billion a year from the federal government. If only half of Tribeca fills the census out, then there will be a significant effect on the schools here.”

For the record, Fidi is also at 50 percent. The citywide average is 56 percent, which is at least a little better than us, but still well below the rest of the nation. In 2010, only 62 percent of New Yorkers self-responded; the nationwide average was 76 percent.

Menin notes that there are two categories of non-responders: those who never filled the form out, and those who replied but used the address of their temporary residence in the Catskills or Hamptons or wherever. The instructions ask “Where were you living on April 1, 2020?” But the reply should really be for your permanent residence. If you are in the latter category you can fill it out again and the census will delete the temporary address. The neighborhood reported at much higher rates in 2010, around 62 percent.

The deadline had been extended through October because of the virus, but the Trump administration just moved it up to Sept. 31. So just get it done today so we are not part of the problem. Because we will be living with these numbers for a long time.



  1. There will be a table at this Saturday’s Green-market on Greenwich St with information and assistance on filling out the census. Hours will be 10:00 to 12:30.


    Then and only then will people fill it out.

    Enough with the pleading (not directing it at you Pam.)

  3. I filled out the online questionnaire many months ago when I received the first notice. Nevertheless, I still received several additional notices to provide my information. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I got a visit two days ago from a census taker who said they didn’t have any info from me. If this is the way the government handles the census, it doesn’t give me a great deal if confidence they can handle mail-in ballots.