2000-04-01 / Editorial/Opinion

Fill Out Your Census Form

We're sure you've heard over and over again how important it is to fill out the census. For the last few months there have been radio and television commercials and ads and articles in newspapers (including this one) about Census 2000. So, you've filled out the form and mailed it in…right? We know the form isn't just sitting on your kitchen table…right?

If you haven't filled out the form yet, now is the time. The information you provide is confidential for 72 years, therefore no government agency can use it against you--not the IRS, not the Department of Immigration and Naturalization, and not the Justice Department. This information is collected every 10 years to get a proper count of people living in the United States, which is used for various purposes.

So, why should you fill out your census form? The numbers collected are used to determine the distribution of more than $100 billion in federal funds and even more in state funds. That's more money for our schools, our hospitals, our highways, and programs for seniors, youth and the disabled. By getting an idea of our population, government can better serve our needs.

Filling out the census is as important as voting. The numbers collected by the census also affect the reapportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. If we do not get a proper count, we might shortchange ourselves in congress by not getting the right representation.

Just take a few moments and fill out the form. It has more of an impact--for you, your children, your community--then you could ever imagine.

Kids First, Politics Last

Two weeks ago we reported about the uncertain future of the Broad Channel Athletic Club's Memorial Field. With the land sale bill expiring on July 25, 2000, a decision has to be made by the City of New York on what to do with the land--continue leasing the field to the B.C.A.C. or sell the property to the group. The city's inaction over the past three years in making a decision has now led the B.C.A.C. to take the city to court.

Why would the city not make a decision in what seems like such a simple matter? The field has been leased for 35 years by the B.C.A.C. The group has paid a monthly fee to the city, maintained the property, and even improved the property. These are tenants the city should love to have.

A spokesperson from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services told The Wave that the city has not changed their land leasing policy with not-for-profit organizations. So, why is the city hesitating to continue leasing?

The B.C.A.C. even offered to purchase the property. The land sale bill authorizes the city "to sell, without competitive bidding, certain real property located in Broad Channel to those persons and/or entities who, as of August 19, 1982, were the lessees of the designated real property." So, why is the city hesitating to sell the property?

It seems that certain elected officials are playing a game of their own with Memorial Field. It's politics first and kids last in their playbook.

Could it be that the city has plans to develop on the field? Or maybe, this is the end result of the battle with the Knights of Columbus. This organization was denied consent by the city to lease part of the parking lot adjacent to Memorial Field after questions arose about the deal. Some of the people involved with this dispute have political connections and might feel the B.C.A.C. sabotaged the Knights of Columbus deal. Now these people are giving the B.C.A.C. some payback.

Whatever the reason, our local elected officials have been too quiet on this issue. They should be demanding the city to resolve this matter now. This field is for the kids of Broad Channel and the Rockaways. If our representatives are staying quiet so not to cross Mayor Guiliani, Borough President Claire Shulman or others involved in this absurd situation, they must remember that our kids are first and politics is last. And we can guarantee the community will be taking that to the voting booths…

 

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