“You can be counted,” Pastor Mike Flowerz and Pastor Elijah Daniels of Revival Town lip-synced in front of the camera. “Don’t beg for nothing, all you got to do is be counted.” These striking lyrics are the chorus of “Counted.”
Flowerz wrote “Counted” in a move to help shine a spotlight on the 2020 Census. Revival Town filmed their music video for the track last Saturday in the City of Newburgh Activity Center at 401 Washington Street.
The video shoot was organized by Newburgh Counts. The music video will be featured in March at a city council meeting, and at a community showing party where community members will also be encouraged to fill out their Census forms.
“This is about counting our city,” said Council-man Omari Shakur on the music video’s message. “When we count our city correctly, we get the correct amount of money from the federal government.” When communities receive a higher census count, they receive increased funding from the federal government.
Various age groups came out for the music video shoot. In many ways the shoot was an event of community unity.
“This is great,” said Chandra James, Newburgh’s Youth Advisory Board. “It means now we can get some youth involved and show them that the city is out here thinking about them exactly. We want to build for them.”
“In order for us to build for them we got to make sure everyone is counted.”
James said that there will be upcoming events for the city’s youth to be involved in Census efforts. On February 21, the city will be holding its first youth advisory board information meeting at 6 p.m. in city hall.
“Once we get that started,” said James. “They’re going to be out in the streets, getting their friends involved.”
Councilman Anthony Grice applauded community Census efforts. “We have set the benchmark in New York State when it comes to the Census,” said Grice.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of Facebooking,” said Shakur. “We’re going to be doing a lot of door knocking. We’re going to be doing a lot of just one on one talking. We’re going to be making sure we’re getting the youth involved.”
Shakur believes that this year’s Census count will be higher than the last count, as community involvement has increased immensely.
“It’s very important that the community comes out for Census 2020,” said Grice. “Ten years ago for 2010, we were undercounted by like 50 percent. This year I feel we’re going to have a really strong showing.”