Mayor Taps Menin as Next Census Director

NEW YORK –– Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Julie Menin as Director of the Census for New York City. She also will serve as Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Strategic Advocacy. In her new roles, Menin will organize extensive outreach efforts to encourage every New York City resident to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census. An accurate census count will ensure that New York receives its fair share of education, healthcare, housing and infrastructure funding and its proper electoral representation in Congress.

As Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Strategic Advocacy, Menin has been tasked to aggressively pursue innovative strategies to protect New Yorkers who may be hurt by federal actions, including exploring avenues for litigation, legislation and rule-making. In this role, she will collaborate with partners including other cities and advocacy groups to change the legal landscape on a wide range of issues from immigrant rights and citizenship, to voter protections, gerrymandering and critical federal funding grants directed toward the City and our most vulnerable New Yorkers. In addition, she will use her many years of legal experience in consumer protection to advise on affirmative litigation against companies that are preying on New Yorkers.

“Julie Menin has been able to get the job done very effectively in every single role she’s held,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From her time chairing Community Board 1 to her outstanding work leading two city agencies, Julie has been able to leverage government, legal and the not for profit and private sectors to put low-income New Yorkers, small businesses and marginalized communities first. I’m confident Julie will help protect New York from the Trump Administration’s attacks on a fair census effort and help build confidence among all New York City communities so that every New Yorker participates in the upcoming 2020 Census.”

Menin said that she’s thrilled to take on her new roles at this critical juncture for the city when it has never been more important to fight the threats to democracy and immigration that our city faces. “We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that every New Yorker is counted so our city receives the billions in funding it deserves for public schools, health care, child care, senior centers and infrastructure and that we will use every legal avenue to protect our democratic ideals and make sure justice is served,” said Menin.

“Having an accurate count of the population is vital for a fair share and distribution of resources and equitable political representation, especially under a federal administration consistently attacking immigrants. We must all work together and ensure that every New Yorker is counted in the Census 2020,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“It is critical that every single New Yorker is counted. As the current administration attempts to weaponize the census, New York is at risk of losing critical resources and funding–as well as Congressional representation–in the coming census. Every single New Yorker must be counted, and I look forward to working with Ms. Menin, as well as stakeholders at every level, to ensure that happens,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo said, “This upcoming Census will be one of the most challenging and important ever undertaken, which is why strong leadership is required to further ensure we overcome federal threats to a proper count. I commend Mayor de Blasio for understating that much is at stake by appointing Julie Menin to oversee New York City Census efforts as well as her role as Counsel For Strategic Advocacy. I look forward to working closely with Julie to ensure we count every New Yorker and deliver the resources and representation we need and deserve.”

Many federal programs rely on the population figures collected by the census to distribute federal funds among states and local governments. A total of approximately $700 billion is distributed annually to States across the country through approximately 300 different census-guided federal grant and funding programs. These programs support essential services including healthcare, public education, social services and infrastructure development. Inaccurate population counts resulting from the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census could harm cities by depriving them of their fair share of federal funding and removing crucial resources for important government services. New York State alone also stands to lose one congressional seat if the 2020 Census count is inaccurate.

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