MT. VERNON, IL — Across our nation, April 1st, 2020 is known as Census Day. The goal of the US Census Bureau every ten years is to count each person living in the country.
Census Director Lori Ulrich says it is important that all residents of Jefferson County are counted completely and accurately, regardless of age, race, gender, nationality, economic status, or citizenship status, in order to ensure the county has the resources it needs to provide for its people.
“Well it affects us on several different levels. We have our state and federal representation is determined by our census numbers. How many representatives we have and the House of Representatives at the federal level is determined by our population. So right now we are looking at potentially losing one to two representatives for the state of Illinois. And then in our state government we look at potentially redistricting the state. And what they have told us right now from the Census Bureau. If our population continues to decrease at the rate it appears to be that we will be in a new district from I-70 all the way to the southernmost point of Illinois.”
In 2010, based on past data, Jefferson County was undercounted by roughly 7,000 people. That equated to at least $7 million in lost federal funding to the community over the past ten years.
Ulrich says because of emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic are precisely why the government needs accurate census data.
“Federal government determines $675 billion a year in federal tax dollars and how they are spent based on population data that is only gotten from this census. In a moment, like right now with the COVID pandemic, this is exactly why we need accurate data. Because our emergency services, our first responders, our public health officials, our government officials are all using population data to determine who needs the help and where they need it. That is why right now we are really, really encouraging our people to fill out that census so that the government will know how many people are here and the help that we need in the recovery efforts from the COVID pandemic.”
It is constitutionally mandated that citizens be counted every ten years, and each household is responsible for completing their own census. For those who haven’t completed their household census, log on to my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 and answer 8 simple questions.
See the full proclamation and more information on the 2020 Census Day Editorial from The City of Mt. Vernon via the underlined link in this sentence,