In an effort to drive census numbers up, a caravan of vehicles traveled from the North and South Forks to a rally at the County Center in Riverhead Thursday, September 17th. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Councilmen Rick Martel and Tommy John Schiavoni called on all residents to make sure they are counted.
The rally was co-sponsored by several East End Latino and Indigenous groups including Sepa Mujer, OLA and the Shinnecock Nation. Organizers are trying to reach more people of color to participate in the Census these final two weeks of the 2020 count. The Census will end September 30th and numbers on the East End have been very low, especially among minority populations. Currently, Southampton has a 40% participation rate.
“It only takes ten minutes to fill out the census,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “And it could be the most important ten minutes you take! We need to help our schools, hospitals and local governments get the funding that we deserve from the Federal Government. We need everyone to be counted and that means where you were living in April. So, those who came out to the East End to stay in their second homes during the start of the pandemic, you need to be counted here.”
New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele said, “The results will impact our communities for the next ten years. The Census Count will help determine the number of seats our state will have in the House of Representatives and it provides data to draw new district lines for Federal, State and local offices. It also determines the distribution of federal funds to our state to support such programs and services such as Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, schools, hospitals and so much more.”