Deptford – Senate President Steve Sweeney attended the South Jersey Kids Count Forum today, where he learned about the latest data released by Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) and how New Jersey can ensure a complete count in the 2020 Census.
“It is imperative that we have an accurate Census with a complete count that reflects the cultural, racial, and economic makeup of our state, so we can effectively provide vital resources to those in communities who need them the most,” said Senate President Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Nearly $23 billion in federal funding for the state is dependent upon Census counts, and about 22% of New Jersey residents, almost 1.9 million, live in hard-to-count areas.
“In my district alone, 21% of all children under age five live in areas at the greatest risk of being undercounted, which means without a complete count we will lose out on critical funding to enhance their quality of life. We must raise awareness about the critical role the Census plays so we can receive the proper funding and accurately allocate our resources.”
The federal funding received by the state and influenced by the Census includes funding for Medicaid, hospital funding, Title 1 school funding, childcare, student loans, highway and transportation funding and school meals programs.
In Legislative District Three, Bridgeton and Glassboro are both viewed as hard to count areas.
“It meant a lot to have Senate President Sweeney here to listen to our concerns, see the data firsthand and hear how we believe we can work towards obtaining a complete count in the 2020 Census. And it meant even more to see how serious and committed he is to this issue,” said Cecilia Zalkind, President & Chief Executive Officer, ACNJ. “This is definitely something that hits close to home for him and his district and I know having an ally like Senator Sweeney eager to work with us will help us immensely in reaching our goal.”
ACNJ works with local, state and federal leaders to identify and implement changes that will benefit New Jersey’s children.
Take the pledge to help shape the future of your community and learn how you can help us work towards a complete count 2020 Census: 2020Census.gov.