A coalition of community members and immigrants’ rights organizations will drive across Long Island on Thursday as a caravan to encourage residents to complete their Census forms. The East End continues to have some of the lowest Census response rates in New York State.
The caravan will depart at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday from three meeting points on the North and South Forks, and will converge near Riverhead for a rally and press conference.
The vehicles will leave from outside St. Agnes Church, at 523 Front Street in Greenport, in front of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church at 168 Hill Street in Southampton, and 9 Squiretown Road near Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays.
“The East End’s resort and semi-rural character contributes to the low numbers, with many homeowners not occupying their homes year-round and not filling out the Census form. Immigrants in particular are often excluded from the count,” Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island and SEPA Mujer, both participating groups, said in a statement.
The press conference will take place at 11 a.m. outside the Suffolk County Clerk’s building at 310 Center Drive in Riverside. State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and Lars Clemensen, the superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District, will be among those in attendance.
Self-response rates as of Tuesday were 40.1 percent in Southampton, 33.2 percent in East Hampton, 60.4 percent in Riverhead, and 41 percent in Southold, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s self-response tracker.
Those interested in participating in the caravan can register online at bit.ly/35H2Svd.