Res­i­dents come out to census job fair and meet new mayor

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Melissa Schu­man mschu­[email protected]­di­anews­group.com Re­porter

COHOES, N.Y. >> 2020 is a big year for the Spin­dle City. Bill Keeler has taken of­fice as mayor. It’s the 150th an­niver­sary of the city’s found­ing. And it’s a census year.

Cohoes cel­e­brated all these things on Satur­day with a com­mu­nity day at the li­brary. That’s an­other rea­son to cel­e­brate, too - the Cohoes Li­brary has re­opened on Satur­days.

A va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity groups showed off what they do in and around Cohoes, while in the meet­ing room, census work­ers held a job fair to en­cour­age peo­ple to sign up to work as a nu­mer­a­tor.

Keeler was at the li­brary for the event, along with Assem­bly­man John McDon­ald III, D-Cohoes. Both spent most of their time in­ter­act­ing with lots of peo­ple in the li­brary, show­ing their sup­port not only for the up­com­ing census but for the com­mu­nity as well.

“This hope­fully sig­nals that this ad­min­is­tra­tion is com­mit­ted to work­ing closely with the com­mu­nity. We want to be ac­tively en­gaged with the con­stituents,” Keeler said. “And I’m very ex­cited about all the things we’re go­ing to do to cel­e­brate the city’s 150th an­niver­sary. We’ve got events planned through­out the year. Next month, on Feb. 1, is our Win­ter Car­ni­val.”

“I think this is a great kick­off for the new mayor,” McDon­ald added. “This is real, this is im­por­tant - per­son to per­son, neigh­bor to neigh­bor, that’s what com­mu­ni­ties like Cohoes are all about.”

Ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion at the li­brary event had im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion to of­fer:

-The Census Bureau is look­ing for in­di­vid­u­als 18 and older with a valid driver’s li­cense, so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber, email ad­dress, and proof of cit­i­zen­ship to work as nu­mer­a­tors for the 2020 census. Work­ers will be paid $18/hour and get $.58/mile fuel re­im­burse­ment. You can make your own sched­ule and work any­where from 20-40 hours a week within a 7-day time frame. To ap­ply to be a census taker, visit www.2020cen­sus.gov/jobs.

“The census is so crit­i­cal for fund­ing a va­ri­ety of pro­grams at the state level,” McDon­ald said. “In to­day’s so­ci­ety, for what

ever rea­sons, peo­ple are a lit­tle ret­i­cent in turn­ing over what is es­sen­tially ba­sic in­for­ma­tion. It’s so im­por­tant that we get the in­for­ma­tion out there and make sure peo­ple are com­fort­able with the census, so they un­der­stand it and aren’t afraid to par­tic­i­pate.”

Keeler had sim­i­lar thoughts on the census. “We want to make sure we get an ac­cu­rate count,” he said. “The fund­ing that comes into the city is based on pop­u­la­tion. We don’t want to leave any­one un­counted.”

-In other parts of the li­brary, the Neigh­bor­hood Watch and the Friends of the Li­brary were hop­ing to find more peo­ple to join them, with lots of up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties planned to in­ter­est new­com­ers.

-The Spin­dle City His­toric So­ci­ety is also ac­cept­ing new mem­ber­ship. They have two dis­plays cur­rently open to the pub­lic, one at the li­brary and one at the Cohoes Mu­sic Hall. They also of­fer pub­li­ca­tions to es­cort peo­ple through sev­eral self-guided tours of the city, avail­able for free through their web­site at http://spindlecit­y.net/Guides&Brochures.html.

-Do you know how to knit or cro­chet? Would you like to hang out with peo­ple who do and cre­ate beau­ti­ful works of fiber art, swap ideas, and learn new styles? Do you not know how to knit or cro­chet, but want to learn? The Beauknit­ters of Cohoes wel­comes you! They meet ev­ery Wed­nes­day at the li­brary from 12-3 p.m. and are al­ways happy to have more peo­ple join them. One of their cur­rent projects is knit­ting hats and leav­ing them at the li­brary for peo­ple who may be in need of a new hat.

-The UCC Food Pantry, Holy Trin­ity Food Pantry, and Al­bany Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Part­ner­ship work to­gether to pro­vide food and re­duced-cost ser­vices to those in need. They are al­ways avail­able to any­one who needs their help, and they are al­ways look­ing for do­na­tions.

-LifePath is work­ing hard to make sure that older adults have the com­mu­nity and so­cial­iza­tion ex­pe­ri­ences they need to have a full, happy life ex­pe­ri­ence as they con­tinue to move down their paths. They pro­vide re­sources and op­por­tu­ni­ties that al­low older adults to con­tinue en­joy­ing in­de­pen­dence and a life full of joy and dig­nity. LifePath hopes that those in­ter­ested in us­ing their ser­vices will reach out.

-Choose Cohoes For Art will soon be ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for their Lise Toch Cre­ative Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Fund, to sup­port and pro­mote bud­ding artists. They are also look­ing for fundrais­ers, so they can con­tinue to pro­mote the arts in the com­mu­nity. In the sum­mer, they’ll be host­ing their 10th an­nual Artist Show­case, which features artists from all over the Cap­i­tal Re­gion - Al­bany, Rens­se­laer, Saratoga, and Sch­enec­tady coun­ties will all be rep­re­sented.

There was lots to do and see at the li­brary, and ev­ery­one was kept busy. One of the big high­lights of the day was the chil­dren’s story hour, with spe­cial guest read­ers McDon­ald and Keeler. Led by li­brary di­rec­tor Han­nah Stahl, chil­dren gath­ered to lis­ten to the assem­bly­man and mayor read books about count­ing, a tie-in to the topic of mak­ing sure ev­ery­one gets counted in the census.

Stahl guided the chil­dren—and McDon­ald and Keeler—through in­ter­ac­tive songs in be­tween each book to keep at­ten­tion fo­cused. Even big­ger than the crowd of kids on the read­ing car­pet was the crowd of adults sur­round­ing the chil­dren’s book area, watch­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties with smiles.

It looks like the Spin­dle City is off to a great start this year.

MELISSA SCHU­MAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

The Cohoes Pub­lic Li­brary is full of ac­tiv­ity dur­ing its com­mu­nity day and census job fair.

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