NYC Trails Nation in Returning Census Forms

Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants New York to catch up to the rest of the nation with the census. So far, he says, only 48 percent of New Yorkers have returned their forms, compared to 62 percent in the rest of the country.

Bloomberg says it's important that New Yorkers who have returned forms make sure their friends and family participate as well. "This is one of those things that, if anybody doesn't do it, they hurt everybody else. So you have an interest not only in doing it yourself, but in getting your family members and your neighbors to do it," he says. April 15 is the federal deadline to return forms. After that, census workers will begin knocking on doors in May.

George Hulse of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry says his community is traditionally difficult to reach. But he and other community leaders are doing outreach in public housing and schools.

"We go out to these organizations," he says. "We talk at their meetings, we talk about the census."

Hulse says the Caribbean community often suffers from a lack of government resources and a good census response could change that.

To help get the word out before the deadline, Mayor Bloomberg says the city is planning several census parades and rallies this weekend. Most will be in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods, where less than a third of residents have returned their census forms.