Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday sought to encourage participation of faith-based organizations in the upcoming 2020 Census by having them register as 501(c)(3)s in order to receive funding.
The state is spending $45 million to promote Census participation -- especially among commuity of color officials worry will be undercounted.
"We need you," Cuomo said at an event in New York City. "We need you to sign people up in your organization and in your community. We are funding a whole campaign."
The effort was part of a "boot camp" for faith-based groups to receive taxable non-profit status and qualify for the Census funding.
"We have groups that can come in to your church or your temple or your mosque and help enroll people," Cuomo said. "We have people who we are paying to come in to your community, or we would like to get your organizations involved in actually providing the service in your community if you want to. Because different religions, different faiths, you are all social action organizations, right? That is what we all are at the end of the day and working with government I believe you can perform your mission even better and fuller and more robust."
The once-a-decade headcount of U.S. residents is key for determining federal funding and congressional representation.