By John Lynds
This year the United States will conduct its decennial census. In Lynn there’s been a huge push to ensure a fair and complete count in the 2020 U.S. Census because it determines everything from representation in Congress, to federal funds for schools, affordable housing, infrastructure and health-care programs.
In Lynn and across the state nonprofits have been making an extra push to get marginalized groups to fill out the census and be counted.
Those efforts in the neighborhood got a boost this week the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund (MCEF). The MCEF announced its second round of targeted grants, totaling $350,000.00, to 34 grassroots nonprofit organizations to support efforts across Massachusetts to reach hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census.
In Lynn, the New American Association of Massachusetts (NAAMass) will be one of the grant recipients during this round of funding.
NAAMass assists newly arriving refugees and immigrants with integration into American society. The NAAMass programs help promote economic stability, build bridges with the larger community, and foster the maintenance of refugees’ and immigrants’ cultural identities. It was originally founded in 1991 by refugees from the Former Soviet Union who resettled in Massachusetts and were determined to help others fleeing religious and political persecution in the former USSR.
Alexie Torres, Chair of the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund and Executive Director of Access Strategies said, “2020 is upon us and the time is now for philanthropy, grassroots organizations, state and civic leaders to join together to ensure the most accurate count of Massachusetts residents in the 2020 Census. The Massachusetts Census Equity Fund is proud to be supporting such an amazing group of groups across the state.”
Torres added that the impact of the results from the upcoming decennial census will be immense, bringing into focus the importance of collecting accurate data from historically under counted communities.
Census data determines political representation and the allocation of federal funds for social programs, including more than $16 billion per year for Massachusetts.
“In other words, the Commonwealth could stand to lose almost $2,400 in federal funding per year for each person not counted in the census,” she said.