Denis Hawthorne, owner of Crystal Caribbean Restaurant and Bakery knows that important discussions and decisions are often made over food. When Hawthorne, also the owner of Denis Shipping Services, was approached by 2010 Census Partnership Specialist Irwine Clare on how the two could work together to inform the Caribbean community about participation in the upcoming census, Hawthorne decided the most effective way to reach the public would be at his restaurant.
On Saturday, November 28, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Brooklyn residents and shoppers in the busy intersection of Utica and Church Ave., where Crystal Caribbean Restaurant and Bakery is located 888 Utica Ave, will see displays inside and outside of the restaurant, be able to pick up census literature and while supplies last, receive a small gift as reminder that the 2010 Census is coming. There will be light refreshments for patrons. Even the restaurant staff will help promote census participation. Each will adorn a census t-shirt courtesy of the New York Regional Census Center. Hawthorne and Clare have coined the event as Brooklyn Counts Census Awareness and Appreciation Day.
“We are honored to be a part of the 2010 Census outreach campaign to the Caribbean community. Our event will help spread the word that we can be empowered and receive our fair share of federal funding for our community through participation in the upcoming 2010 Census,” says Hawthorne.
Members of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce use census data on a regular basis to make important decisions about establishing and maintaining businesses in the community. Chamber President Dr. Roy Hastic believes that it is a top priority to inform the community about why census numbers really count and how filling out and mailing back the census questionnaire makes sense for Caribbeans.
Census questionnaires will arrive by mail locally in March 2010. With less than five months before the census, Partnership Specialists like Clare are busy delivering an important message to residents: It’s Easy, the shortest questionnaire in the history of the census; It’s Safe, personal information provided on a census questionnaire is kept confidential by law; Participation is open to both citizens and non-citizens; Finally, It’s Important – More than $400 billion dollars in federal funding is dispersed to states based on population data. The same data helps determine the number o f Congressional seats each state receives and how legislative district lines are drawn locally.