The census ended yesterday, Oct. 15, after a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday. The decision, which stayed an order from a lower court that would have allowed the count to continue until the end of the month, marks the end of a long fight for a complete count across the country. In Queens Community Board District 4, which presides over Elmhurst, Corona and Corona Heights, the stakes were especially high. CB4 district manager Christian Cassagnol and board member Kristen Gonzalez have pushed hard for outreach all year. The immigrant populations they represent have always been undercounted, leading to a lack of resources in their communities.
A significant percentage of the residents of District 4 are undocumented, and with the Trump administration’s proposed citizenship question and overall anti-immigrant rhetoric, many were even less trusting of a government questionnaire than they would have been on a normal year. With $650 billion in federal aid on the line and a global pandemic laying the under-resourcing of central Queens bare, this year’s census results have major implications for the next 10 years. Bedford + Bowery started following Community Board 4’s outreach efforts in February. We continued our coverage after the world shut down, keeping tabs on central Queens and speaking to census experts and officials about this year’s historic count. Listen to our special report below.