City officials made one final push Thursday night to get New Yorkers to sign up for the census.
In order for them to be counted, mail-in responses needed to be postmarked by Thursday, and online responses were due by 6 a.m. Friday.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the count could end Thursday instead of on October 31.
City officials warned if New York is undercounted and misrepresented, the city could possibly lose billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief and up to two seats in Congress and the Electoral College.
"Basically, for every New York City household that doesn't respond to the census, that's $7,000 would've gone to the city of New York for our public schools, for public housing, for our senior centers. It's so important," said Julie Menin, the city's director of the census. "We have to make sure every New Yorker knows this."
“This is grand theft. That’s constitutional larceny. We can’t leave that money on the table," said Kathleen Daniel, field director for NYC Census 2020.
“It all comes down to this — our last chance to be counted, our last chance for fairness and justice, our last chance for fair representation in Washington, our last chance for our fair share of billions and billions of dollars — it all comes down to you,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a briefing.
He reminded New Yorkers that one family member can fill out the Census for an entire household, noting that the process is quick.
"We need you to take those 10 minutes and make a big difference. And hopefully a last-minute surge here will get us to a final result that will get us in good stead going forward," said de Blasio.
After the court ruling, the city's census office scrambled to launch a phone- and text-a-thon to alert residents of the new deadline.
On Thursday, city workers were canvassing in a half dozen neighborhoods.
In Corona, Queens during the day on Thursday, city workers sought out residents who had not yet filled out their census forms in a last-ditch effort to boost the response rate in the city. Workers said they got 20 responses in just one hour, which workers said equates to about 100 more New Yorkers counted toward the census."
"Everyone needs to be counted in order for the city, the community to get as much help for the government as we can, especially during these times," said Jose Velasco, a volunteer with the city's office of the census.
Other workers continued the push in Flatbush, Brooklyn Thursday night, including Daniel, who was determined to have as many people counted as possible.
"I’m talking to you in the Boogie Down Bronx. Don’t let your boogie breakdown. Strong Staten Island, that’s leading the charge right now, keep on pushing. I’m talking to money-making Manhattan. We cannot go broke and leave that money on the table. And Brooklyn and Queens, you are New York City royalty. We need to keep our crowns and keep them polished. Let’s get out fair share of federal funding," she said.
City census officials said the response rate in the five boroughs is nearly on par with the rest of the U.S.
"We have aggressively closed the gap between the country's self-response rate and the city's, and so right now we're five points away from the national self-response rate. In 2010, we were 14 points away,” Menin said.
New Yorkers can fill out the Census via my2020census.gov. They can also call (844) 330-2020 with any questions.