Gusciora Urges: "COUNT US IN!" Assemblyman Maintains "Citizen Only" Census Will Lessen Federal Dollars for Trenton
Trenton, NJ – Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) blasted the Trump Administration for proposing the 2020 census count only "citizens" and not "all residents" of the State. The U.S. census is taken every ten years and serves as the basis of congressional district lines, and virtually all federal aid.
"Mr. Trump wants to eliminate almost 20% of our population from being included in the next census," said Gusciora. "The census is the basis of how federal dollars come to the state and local governments. So if the 2020 census only counts 'citizens,' and not 'all residents,' there will be a radically different result for New Jersey’s urban centers."
The mayoral candidate stressed that Trump’s plan would eviscerate the state capital’s federal aid budget. The United States government uses the Census to allocate financial aid to communities across America.
“Excluding non-citizens would be catastrophic towards the Capital City,” – continued the Assemblyman. “All residents should be counted, regardless of immigration status. Otherwise, urban communities will have to increase local taxes in order to continue to fund programs which help poor and working families."
Gusciora noted that almost a quarter of Trentonians are foreign-born. The city would stand to lose millions in federal aid if Trump’s plan comes to fruition. The Assemblyman has joined his colleagues in urging Congress to oppose the President's ill-conceived plan.
Former Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer yesterday also went on record opposing the Trump plan. The five-term public-servant asserted that “as a former mayor of Trenton, I know how important the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has been. Both for our citizens and to our non-profits who, in turn, provide resources to our residents.” The former executive went on to harmonize with the Assemblyman, stressing that, “any reduction in our population-based allotment hurts the mayor’s ability to provide the necessary means for recreation, infrastructure, and our seniors. I applaud the Assemblyman for taking on this issue. I applaud him for advocating for the capital city. We need to make sure that all community members are counted in this next census. Trump cannot be allowed to shortchange Trenton.”
The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocates sums of money through the CBDG program so that neighborhoods can focus funds where they see fit. If the national government holds back funds meant for non-citizens, then municipalities will be footed with the bill.
Gusciora announced he will co-sponsor and champion the bill (ACR-121) introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald (LD 6) urging Congress to reject the President's proposal.
“Our taxpayers will suffer the consequences of Trump's plan to exclude non-citizens" concluded Gusciora. “When federal aid stops rolling in, the local municipalities will see a substantial increase in their rates”
Congress has yet to weigh in on the plan.
The Trenton Mayoral election concludes with a runoff election on June 12th.