Assembly Member Marcos Crespo has introduced a bill to create a state commission to combat the state’s chronic undercount of minority residents. Covered by Rick Karlin in the Times Union, the bill would “begin the process to prepare New York State for a proper count during the 2020 Census. Undercounts during the 2000 and 2010 Census have cost New York two congressional seats and a loss of tens of billions in federal aid for a range of programs from education to housing to transportation. The legislation begins a multi-year planning process to ensure that state, local and nonprofit sectors are better prepared to ensure a proper count and will prevent future funding losses, including the now projected loss of one more congressional member due to a combination of slow population growth and chronic undercounting of New York State residents.
“With rampant growth in child poverty rates and among our elderly and families, New York can ill afford another census undercount. It has already cost us tens of billions in lost federal aid which could have been used to strengthen our communities and economy. It has also cost us political clout in Washington as we continue to lose members of Congress as other states gain members. My legislation begins the process to ensure a proper count and bring billions in needed aid to communities across New York,” stated Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo.”
The article does not mention that the census is also the basis for state legislative and local redistricting or that chronic undercounting also skews legislative redistricting by favoring areas with more accurate counts. The proposed commission would also need a budget and funding.