Rep. Ocasio-Cortez encourages 2020 census participation at town hall event

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke at town hall event Saturday and emphasized the importance of residents taking part in this year’s census.

Officials say census results can help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding for public education, health care and affordable housing flow into communities.

Ocasio-Cortez reminded residents that there will not be a citizenship question on this year’s census, calling the U.S Supreme Court decision a huge victory against the Trump administration.

Officials say that in 2010, New York’s self-response rate was well below the national average, and that if participation is undercounted again, the state could lose two congressional seats.

The de Blasio administration invested millions in mobilizing trusted community organizations to improve census participation. 

Invitations to respond to the census will be delivered between March 12 to 20. Residents can respond online, by phone or mail.  

Officials tell residents to beware of scams and that they are not supposed to pay or give their Social Security number to participate.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect answers and keep them strictly confidential.   

The congresswoman also discussed the launch of her political action committee Courage to Change just a day after the PAC announced its first endorsements, which include seven women.

The announcement was first reported in the New York Times:

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is backing seven women running for congressional seats, including Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, a labor and voting rights activist who is running against the candidate endorsed by Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, M.J. Hegar, to take on a Republican, Senator John Cornyn. Three others — Teresa Leger Fernandez in New Mexico, Samelys López in New York, and Georgette Gómez in California — are running for open seats in Democratic districts; Ms. Gómez has also been endorsed by Mr. Sanders. Another, Kara Eastman, is challenging Representative Don Bacon, Republican of Nebraska, for a second time.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has already announced her support for primary challengers to a pair of her House Democratic colleagues: Marie Newman, who is running against Representative Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, and Jessica Cisneros, who is seeking to oust Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas.

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