Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today rolled out a new census website – census2020.chicago.gov – a one-stop shop to support the city’s complete count effort for the upcoming 2020 census. The comprehensive website provides residents with updated information on how to participate in the census, city resources aiding in ensuring a full count, and what’s at stake for next year’s count.
“While the 2020 census kicks off next April, the City isn’t wasting any time in preparing for a full count that will ensure every resident is represented, and that Chicago gets our fair share from the federal government,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The inclusion of every Chicagoan is essential to the 2020 census count, and over the next several months our team will be working hard to ensure that all residents, even in the hardest to reach places, have the information and the comfort they need to participate.”
The website provides a timeline for responding to the census and hosts a menu of resources from the U.S. Census Bureau and local community partners. To enhance participation, the website addresses concerns about access to internet, safety, privacy and confidentiality on the FAQ page. The website also features a map of Connect Chicago locations for residents who do not have computers or internet access at home.
The new 2020 census website is fully accessible to every user, providing detailed information available in several languages including Spanish, Polish, Mandarin, Arabic and Tagalog. It also lists ways to get involved in the 2020 census including how to work for the U.S. Census Bureau.
In addition, the website details information on Chicago’s Complete Count Committee, which was launched in April 2019. The Committee, which is made up of 30 community leaders, elected officials, advocates, organizers and service providers, is working to analyze previous census data, mobilize resources and recommend outreach strategies for the 48 percent of Chicago residents living in hard-to-count communities.
The Committee, which will meet monthly from now through the 2020 census, is tasked with raising the citywide response rate from 66 percent in 2010, among the lowest in the country. The Committee is also leveraging the expertise and reach of city departments and sister agencies including: Chicago Public Library, Department of Family and Support Services, Department of Public Health, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Chicago Housing Authority, Department of Innovation and Technology, Chicago Park District, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City Colleges, Office of Budget and Management and Office of the City Clerk.
A complete count is critical for the future of Chicago. The federal government uses census data to distribute nearly $700 billion in funding that touches every Chicagoan through education, school lunch programs, healthcare, infrastructure and more. For each person missed during the census, the City risks losing $1,400, as well as representation in Congress.
Mayor Lightfoot is committed to ensuring a unified citywide approach to ensuring that every Chicagoan participates in the 2020 census. Last week, Mayor Lightfoot and the City Council announced the creation of a new Special Legislative Committee on the Census. This group will work together with the Complete Count Committee to ensure:
· A fair, complete and accurate count of every individual living in Chicago,
· All resources are mobilized in an inclusive manner,
· And robust coordinated outreach on digital access, since a majority of Chicagoans will be invited to respond online.
Last week, Mayor Lightfoot also appointed Nubia Willman to lead the City’s Office of New Americans, which will work to ensure a complete count of the 2020 census on behalf of the Mayor’s Office.