Western New York: stand up and be counted!
The decennial census counters are coming to a city, town, or village near you -- well, actually, they're coming to yours -- and the importance of an accurate measure cannot be stressed enough. As today's editorial states, the numbers reported make a difference in the allocation of federal funding and representation in the House of Representatives. Another factor to weigh: the redrawing of political boundaries for the State Legislature by the winners of November's elections.
At stake is $400 billion in federal funds provided each year to state and local governments and how that money gets filtered to the local level. Lack of congressional representation touches on weighty issues such as federal aid to transportation infrastructure and cleanups of industrial-legacy environmental hazards, or tprotection of Great Lakes water resources.
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown recently announced the formation of a "Buffalo Complete Count Committee" to target parts of the city and various demographic groups. There's a concentrated effort both here and around the country to impress upon immigrant and minority groups the critical need for an accurate census that ultimately brings in more dollars for services. Buffalo gets more than $20 million just in federal community development block grant funds.
Consider the money out of everyone's pockets for higher taxes with less represenatation at the congressional level. Or, how about this: it's the law.
Dawn Marie Bracely/Editorial Writer