The Committee aims to ensure that hard-to-count communities in Syracuse are counted

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II, joined with the Central New York Community Foundation today to announce the launch of the 2020 Census Syracuse-Onondaga County Complete Count Committee (SOC-CCC). The steering committee made up of more than 50 members, includes representatives of community groups and nonprofits; communications and media organizations; city and county government; educational institutions, including K-12, colleges, and universities; and businesses and business organizations. The committee will work during the next year to support a comprehensive census count in Syracuse and Onondaga County.

“Achieving a complete and accurate count of the population in Syracuse and Onondaga County is critically important to our community. For some people, though, the census may be an intimidating and confusing exercise,” said Mayor Walsh. “With the broad cross-section of community partners that have joined together, we can build greater understanding and trust of the census process. The Central New York Community Foundation has been a strong and early backer of this effort, and we greatly appreciate its support.”

County Executive McMahon said, “We are experiencing undeniable progress and momentum in Central New York and ensuring an accurate count for the 2020 Census will help continue our success.” McMahon continued, “Thank you to the many community partners who have stepped up to help make sure that each and every voice has an opportunity to be heard and counted. This is an important effort to make sure we continue to receive the resources we need, have the representation we deserve and also serve as a model for the rest of the country.”

“A complete census count is necessary to the work of the Central New York Community Foundation,” said Robyn Smith, Director of Strategic Initiatives Central New York Community Foundation. “We are committed to using data to help us determine what is working and to prioritize the Community Foundation’s grants and community investments in a way that is most effective.”

Led by the City of Syracuse, the SOC-CCC is a collaborative effort between the City, Onondaga County, and the Community Foundation. The SOC-CCC organization structure consists of a steering committee and a set of subcommittees categorized by: engagement, government, community, education, and business. The SOC-CCC will work-closely with representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau in preparation for and during the census count, which will largely be conducted between March and July 2020.

Subcommittees will meet regularly between August 2019 and July 2020 to form and implement action plans and help communicate information about the census to city and county residents.

  • The community subcommittees will primarily focus on the city’s hard-to-count populations.
  • Government subcommittees will take a geographic approach to outreach, such as through neighborhood organizations, in order to reach people not connected to community programs or services.
  • Education subcommittees are primarily institution-focused, such as Onondaga Community College, Syracuse University, and Le Moyne. The Syracuse City School District will spearhead outreach to students and families.
  • Business and engagement subcommittees will take on more of a county-wide focus, utilizing mass communication and outreach strategies.

Communities across the country have formed Complete Count Committees in an effort to strategically inform their residents about the necessity and importance of completing the 2020 Census. The census is a decennial survey which aims to count people, as of April 2020, only once in their primary place of residence.

Census data has a significant impact on localities, including how much funding states and municipalities receive from the federal government. It also determines how seats to states in the House of Representatives are reapportioned and how boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts are redistricted. Indirectly, the census has the potential to impact a variety of local resources because of the way federal funding is allocated based off of population count and the quantifiable needs of community members.

These local representatives are charged with developing and implementing a 2020 Census awareness campaign based upon their knowledge of the local community to encourage a response to the census, with an immediate focus on communities which are vulnerable to being undercounted.

Individuals are encouraged to participate in the SOC-CCC and can volunteer by going online to to fill out the signup form.

SOC-CCC Subcommittees (as of July 31, 2019)
Community Subcommittees
Children Under 5
Special Housing
New American
Ages 15-34
Government Subcommittees
Rural (Country)
Neighborhoods (City)
Education Subcommittees
o Le Moyne College
o Onondaga Community College
o Syracuse University
o Adult Education
Engagement Subcommittees
Digital Inclusion

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