Residents come out to census job fair and meet new mayor
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.
The Cohoes Public Library is full of activity during its community day and census job fair.