April 1, 2020 has been designated as Census Day. In preparation for the census, the representatives of the U.S. Census Bureau recently met with Oak Park-River Forest community activists, who represented various community institutions, and formed the core of the Complete Count Committee (CCC). The purpose of the committee is to raise awareness of the upcoming decennial census.

The purpose of the constitutionally mandated census is to count every person residing in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and island areas of the United States. The first census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since.

The census data is used for many purposes, e.g. the distribution of $675 billion annually in federal funds to states and local governments; determining the number of representatives each state is entitled to in the U.S. House of Representatives [Illinois currently has 18]; and directing funds for services for people in poverty.

All responses to the Census Bureau are confidential and legally protected. The data gathered will never be shared with immigration enforcement agencies like ICE, law enforcement agencies like the FBI, or used to determine eligibility for government benefits.

Those interested in securing a paid census job can apply online at 2020census.gov/job or call 1-855-562-2020.

Al Popowits

River Forest

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