Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) emphasized the importance of a proper U.S. Census count at a town hall discussion Saturday, pointing to the ways that more funding would help residents of her ward.
“My dream is that we live in a world-class neighborhoods where you can go to a quality grocery store and not the liquor store,” she said. "[The census] can help fund schools that my young people actually attend. Funding Head Start, making sure that we have SNAP."
“I have people who are unemployed at this time, and so they need those dollars [SNAP funds] to feed their families,” said Taylor.
“I wasn’t always an elected official, I was a community organizer,” said Taylor. “And so, all the programs the census provide money for, I actually have needed in my lifetime.”
The discussion, which took place at the DuSable Museum, was moderated by radio personality Bonnie DeShong. State Sen. Robert Peters (D-13th) also appeared, and spoke about the urgency of census awareness efforts after the federal government announced it would end data-collection on September 30, earlier than its initial timeline.
“The fact that they shortened it means that we are going to be in a greater rush to get people to fill out the census and to trust the process,” he said. “It’s our job to say, you know, we are out here, this is a simple process, you can trust the process."
Explaining the consequences of an inaccurate census count, Peter said, “The risk is about representation. If we don’t have a fair count and we don’t have a good count, we risk losing folks who look like us and come from our communities representing us in Springfield.
More information about the census and how to participate in it can be found on the City of Chicago’s Census 2020 Frequently Asked Questions page at: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/census2020/home/faq.html