A terrible time for de Blasio to cut library funding

CRAIN’S NEW YORK —  May 9, 2019 — The census has always been the bedrock of our democracy. However, unlike any time in this country’s history, this bedrock is at risk.

The odds are stacked against a successful census. It’s going to be largely online for the first time ever, it’s been severely underfunded, and in an effort to intimidate immigrants, the federal government has added a citizenship question for the first time in more than 50 years.

In the 2010 census, New York’s participation rate was more than 10% lower than the national average. Given the political climate and the inhumane rhetoric around immigration, we have every reason to expect the discrepancy will be even worse next year.

New York cannot afford an undercount, which would mean losing vital funding for Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 housing and other critical services, and potentially one or two congressional seats. It is absolutely critical for us to think creatively and work collaboratively to improve our response rates, even in the face of politically driven headwinds.

One key answer lies in another bedrock of our democracy: public libraries.

Read the full piece here.