Denny Boodha ’22 Highlights How the Census Can Help Communities Thrive

Denny Boodha ’22 Highlights How the Census Can Help Communities Thrive

Denny Boodha ’22 Highlights How the Census Can Help Communities Thrive

Honors student Denny Boodha ’22, a Criminology and Forensic Psychology major from Long Island, New York, admits that he initially didn’t know the essential role the Census plays in helping communities thrive. “I spoke to a friend who works with the Census and I got the rundown on the importance of the 2020 Census,” says Boodha. “It impacts all the resources and programming available to our communities.” The Census, a population count that occurs every 10 years, affects the amount of money a state receives in order to fund its highway construction, its public transportation system, public institutions, public assistance programs, and its health care system. “Not counting everyone in the Census can directly lead to dilemmas in society,” he explains. “An undercount in the Census leads to underfunding a community; it leads to a lack of educational and career opportunities as well as health care and nutritional options for many already living in underserved and underrepresented communities.”

“An undercount in the Census leads to underfunding a community; it leads to a lack of educational and career opportunities as well as health care and nutritional options for many already living in underserved and underrepresented communities.” —Denny Boodha

Sharing Information is Key
Boodha knows that one of the best ways to get people to fill out the Census is to share information on what it is, it’s purpose, and its impact, in the simplest way possible. “A lack of understanding what the Census is can lead to apathy. You’ll have people disregarding it and not bothering to fill it out,” he explains. Breaking down the impact of the Census, dispelling myths, and showing how easy it is to fill out can boost the desire to fill out the form, according to Boodha. “By letting yourself be counted, you’re helping to increase the quality of life for your community. It will see increased funding and that funding is what’s needed to sustain a healthy, educated, and thriving population,” he says. “We need to ensure every New Yorker is counted so that those funds can be adequately distributed to the areas with the most dense populations in New York City. It’s going to help create a better quality of life for those already facing difficult circumstances.”

“I want immigrants and undocumented people to know that it’s safe to fill out the Census. The census information is kept confidential and is used solely for the purposes of counting the population.” —Denny Boodha

Empowering Others to be Counted
Taking on the role of a Census advocate, Boodha sees the Census as a civic duty and wants all people, regardless of their age, race, or status to feel empowered when filling out the form. “The simple act of being counted is empowering on so many levels. You’re standing up and saying you are here in this country, in your neighborhood, and your presence matters,” he says. There’s one population, in particular, Boodha hopes to reach. “I want immigrants and undocumented people to know that it’s safe to fill out the Census,” he says, adding that they can fill out the Census form online, via a telephone call or by mailing in their form. “The census information is kept confidential and is used solely for the purposes of counting the population,” says Boodha. “By simply being counted, and filling out the Census form, you’re standing up for your community and helping increase the quality of life of your neighborhood for years to come.”