Today is Census Day
No joke: April 1 is Census Day, and it’s observed nationwide. By today, every home should have receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. When you respond to the census, you tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
Respond from home
Have you filled out your census questionnaire yet? There’s no time like the present! It only takes minutes, and you can reply online, by phone, or by mail.
This is critical for Illinois
The census, required by our constitution and conducted every 10 years, is a count of every individual living in the United States. That means we get one chance every decade to take a couple of minutes and help ensure we get the resources and political representation that our communities need.
The federal government uses census data to make extremely important decisions, such as how many legislators Illinois gets in the House of Representatives (we may lose two seats) and how to allocate billions of dollars for vital programs over the course of the next 10 years.
This funding goes toward housing and homelessness programs, road and bridge repairs, energy assistance, Medicare and Medicaid, and much more.
For each Illinoisan who doesn’t get counted, we leave as much as $1,800 on the table.
Getting Out The Count…during a pandemic
Filling out the census is as important as ever, and we’re facing new challenges with reaching hard-to-count populations due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The health and safety of our communities is our first priority. Fortunately, filling out the census is a great way to support your community while staying safe at home!
While readjusting to life under a shelter-in-place order, we are eager to try creative new ways to connect with people experiencing homelessness, low-income renters, and communities of color to make sure they’re still counted. Please share any suggestions you have with us! Meanwhile, let us know if you are able to help us with spreading the word:
- Can your organization share information with clients online, via phone, or in a newsletter? Our communications toolkit makes this quick and easy.
- Do you know of residential buildings where educational posters can be put up or flyers can be tucked into mailboxes?
- Are there essential businesses in your community that you think might display educational census materials?
- Can you host an online Q&A about the census for your staff, residents, or clients? Housing Action Illinois staff would be happy to give a presentation.
Together, we can make sure Illinois gets the resources we need to take care of our communities.