NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City officials and community advocates and leaders gathered in Manhattan and Brooklyn Wednesday to mobilize New Yorkers to complete the 2020 census.
The "Countdown to the Future" was held at Foley Square and included a march across the Brooklyn Bridge before unveiling a census-related installation at the Brooklyn Public Library Main Branch.
It launched the final two-week countdown for the census and issued a citywide call to action, part of a series of an intensive push to ensure all New Yorkers are counted.
As of September 14, New York City's self-response rate is just 59.5%.
While this represents a significant closure of the gap between New York City and the nation as compared to 2010 (just over 6 percentage points now vs. 14 percentage points in 2010), many communities in New York City, particularly in Brooklyn, are still lagging.
The 2020 census will determine the allocation of more than $1.5 trillion annually to more than 300 federal programs.
Many of the communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic are chronically under-counted and could lose out on billions of dollars that fund crucial services like hospitals, Medicaid, head start and more.
Adding to the urgency, the census count will now end September 30, a full month earlier than recommended.