By Tara Moran
My Coverdell Fellowship at Fordham University has provided me the opportunity to work as an intern with the Office of The Bronx Borough President. The Office of The Bronx Borough President heads local initiatives for economic, social, and environmental wellbeing. The Office also works with the mayor, city council, New York State government, public agencies, community groups, and private enterprises to make the Bronx Borough a better place for everyone.
My internship is with the Department of Community Services where I am assigned to help coordinate a borough-wide campaign to ensure an accurate count of Bronx residents in the upcoming 2020 Census. I have assisted in the creation and management of the Office’s Bronx 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, which is composed of local community-based organizations that are dedicated to achieving a complete count of Bronx residents. I help coordinate the agendas for the Committee’s monthly meetings and am responsible for producing the Committee’s weekly e-newsletter to share resources and events regarding the Census. I have also been tasked with conducting research on undercounted populations in The Bronx based on 2010 Census data, which has helped to create a targeted outreach strategy to ensure we boost self-response rates this year. I have found that the skills in research and data analysis that I have honed as an IPED student have greatly benefited me in this position. I am also able to use the cross-cultural communication skills that I gained through the Peace Corps to effectively collaborate with the diverse communities of The Bronx.
Home to approximately 1.43 million people, a lot is at stake for our Bronx community in the upcoming Census. The Census count determines how federal funding and political representation is distributed. Funding for public education, housing, roads, and federal programs all rely on Census data. Furthermore, if The Bronx (and therefore New York State) is undercounted, we could lose up to two Congressional seats and weaken our ability to fight for the needs of Bronx residents.
As a native New Yorker, I am proud to fight for our fair share of federal funding and representation. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to help Get Out The Count with the Office of the Bronx Borough President as a Coverdell Fellow.
Be sure to get counted in the 2020 Census! The self-response period is from March 12 to April 30, 2020.