Mayor Bloomberg posted this chart of neighborhood Census response rates today, and it puts Williamsburg last with just 31.3% participation. In fact, many Brooklyn neighborhoods are among the lowest participants, with Erasmus, Bedford, and Borough Park all ranking in the low 30s. Too bad, Williamsburg; now you'll never get the state funding for all those food stamps.
Queens' Ft. Totten-Bay had the highest return rate at 62.9%, but Manhattan had the highest participation of any borough with 54%. The Mayor's office has been furiously tweeting all day with encouraging words like "NYers have nothing to fear: #Census forms won’t be shared with others." Bloomberg also warned in his press release, “A low response rate could have very serious consequences for our city—for each person who is not counted in the census, the City loses about $3,000 in Federal aid every year, money that could be spent on services our communities all want and need."
Actress Rosario Dawson is even getting in on the movement; she will be lighting up the Empire State building Red, White and Blue this Friday to celebrate the 2010 Census “March to the Mailbox” campaign. So what's it gonna take, Williamsburg? Clearly Karl Rove and free can openers aren't doing it for you. Does Yo La Tengo need to film a Census PSA?