NYC Census 2020’s new PSA aims to reach historically undercounted communities


New York: NYC Census 2020 released this week a new PSA featuring 15-time Grammy winner  Alicia Keys. In the PSA, the music icon emphasizes the importance of being counted in the census, especially in historically undercounted neighborhoods, as the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all New Yorkers and having a disproportionate impact on Black and brown communities.

“Just like Alicia Keys sings in ‘Empire State of Mind,’ there’s nothing we can’t do in New York,” said NYC Census Director Julie Menin“Now is not the time to be invisible – now is the time for every New Yorker to fill out the census and be counted.”

“To my NYC fam: strong, resilient and proud – now more than ever, it’s super important that every New Yorker counts,” says Keys in the PSA. “The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all, but it is affecting our black and brown communities the most. The only way to get the programs and funding that we deserve is to fill out the census.”

NYC Census 2020 has previously released PSAs featuring artists, celebrities, and public figures with strong ties to New York City, including rapper Cardi B, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. These PSAs are part of a strategy to reach historically undercounted New Yorkers and encourage people to self-respond to the census online or via phone.

The census determines whether NYC receives its fair share of hundreds of billions distributed by the federal government every year for important programs and services. The census also leads to direct investments in the City’s health care system. For example, census data determines allocations for funding for CHIP and hospitals. What’s more, it’s how public health officials get the foundational data that public health experts use to plan for and manage situations like COVID-19. The census also determines each state’s fair share of representation in Congress, as well as how local, state, and federal legislative district lines are drawn, meaning the power of NYC’s voice in Washington, D.C., and Albany is also based on the census.

  •  The census is available online and by phone this year: and 1-844-330-2020. 
  • New Yorkers can complete the census form online in 12 languages, and each of these languages have their own dedicated phone number. The U.S. Census Bureau has also published “explainer” guides in 59 languages. For more information, please visit


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