At Hester Street, we work every day to promote civic action because we know that civic action is power – how the people shape the city. Civic action is justice – righting historic wrongs. Civic action is equity – concentrating investment in neglected neighborhoods. And civic action is love – community care, concern and connection.

A critical opportunity for people-powered justice, equity and love is coming up in 2020 – the Census! Now, more than ever, a full and accurate Census count is crucial so that our cities receive their fair share of resources and political representation. This is a once-in-a-decade chance for all of us to shape the cities we want to live in – now and into the future.

For us at Hester Street, the Census is about more than funding and votes. It is a remarkable chance to unite across geographies, communities and issue areas around this epic opportunity to ensure that the world knows that every one of us counts.

But we know that it doesn’t take the Census to fire up civic action. We see civic action all around us, every day, in our work across the city and state. We see it in:

East New York at New Lots Library, where neighbors are helping design their very own “palace for the people” – a library and cultural center on the site of an African burial ground.

Black Entrepreneurs NYC, a first-of-its-kind big city initiative set to transform the city’s economic landscape driven by and for existing, would-be and should-be Black business owners.

Equitable Code Enforcement in New York State, a vast undertaking across 10 cities that flips a historically reactive and punitive regulatory tool on its head to advance equity through proactive protection, increased investment and meaningful civic engagement.

In 2020, Hester Street will be all about the Census. Look out for regular updates on our data-driven, targeted and out-of-the-box strategies to mobilize hard-to-count communities!