McHenry County goes all in for the 2020 U.S. Census
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County officially launched its effort to ensure that every resident participates in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.
About fifty people attended a Thursday rally held by the McHenry County Complete Count Committee, a diverse group of local governments, business leaders, not-for-profit agencies and residents who will work to make sure that every county resident is counted. The committee will work closely with existing and future complete count committees established at the municipal level.
The decennial Census is more than just a head count. Its primary purpose under the Constitution is to determine McHenry County’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Illinois General Assembly. A lower count due to less participation will weaken McHenry County’s voice in state and federal government, which could also mean the loss of millions of dollars for transportation infrastructure, community development, Medicaid, low-income assistance and other vital needs.
“Our concerted, collective effort is hugely important to ensure that yes, we have appropriate representation, we have the opportunity to be able to secure dollars, and that we understand that we are going to be properly positioned for the future,” Woodstock Mayor and Committee Co-Chair Brian Sager said.
In 2015, the federal government distributed more than $675 billion in state and local funding based on data from the last Census, McHenry County Board member and Committee Co-Chair Michael Vijuk said.
“Six hundred and seventy-five billion is on the table. That’s how much money is going to be distributed to every state, every county, and every municipality. We have so much money riding on this, and that’s going to pay for a number of programs. We’re talking about mental health programs. We’re talking about public health. We’re talking about roads, workforce development, and education grants for single-parent families.”
Residents will receive letters from the Census Bureau between March 12 and March 20 inviting them to fill out the Census form online, followed by a reminder letter. People also can answer the Census by phone or by regular mail.
Answering the 2020 Census is safe and secure. The Census Bureau is forbidden from publicly releasing your census form, or forwarding it to other government agencies, including the IRS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or law enforcement. The decennial Census is mandated under Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, and has been undertaken every decade since 1790, the year after the Constitution’s ratification.
To learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census and the statewide Complete Count initiative, visit the Illinois Complete Count Commission online at www.illinoiscensus2020.com, the official 2020 Census website at www.2020census.gov, or follow the U.S. Census Bureau on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
For more information on the McHenry County Complete Count Committee's efforts, contact Alicia Schueller at 815-334-0309, or by email at AASchueller@mchenrycountyil.gov.