Mel Camp talks with Mayor Byron Brown about how important it is to fill out your census form. By filling out the 2020 census you directly impact the federal funding our community receives. Mayor Brown says in 2010 there was a census undercount in the city of Buffalo. Our response to the census was only 67% and that resulted in a population undercount and some people in the federal government estimate that Buffalo could have lost as much as over 1 billion dollars in federal funds from 2010 to 2020.
Some people may say I don’t have kids in school or I’m not important and I don’t need to fill out the census because my response doesn’t’ really count. Mayor Brown says everyone needs to fill it out. It benefits the entire community whether you are low income, middle income, or upper income. Funding goes to community health centers, it goes to our hospital systems, so for the health of our community it is important. For the public safety of our community it is important. Money goes to our police departments and fire departments. Money goes to community centers that they can use for programs for children, seniors, and families. Another thing that the census provides money for through the federal government, by having a complete and accurate count, is road repair. Many people in Buffalo and Western New York have been concerned about the condition of our roads so we can’t afford to lose federal resources that we can put into road repair in Buffalo, Erie County and Western New York. Mayor Brown says there are so many different purposes that the census is critically important to have that accurate count of the population and getting federal money coming into our community to address all the many needs that we have in our community no matter what your income level is.
If you haven’t filled out the 2020 census yet you can still do it. The deadline is October 31st. You can use your smart phone to fill it out. If you have gotten the form in the mail and you still have the census questionnaire, you can fill that out and send it in and there is a 1-800 number you can call to fill the census out as well so there are many different ways to fill it out. Right now, our self-response rate is very low in Buffalo. It is only 53.8% and that is much too low says Mayor Brown. He says our goal is 100%. Mel asked the mayor if he filled out his form. Mayor Brown says he has filled out his and it an easy 9 question form.