Gov. Pritzker names 2020 Census co-coordinators

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Part of comprehensive effort to ensure complete count

information provided by the Office of the Governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (September 20, 2019) – Governor JB Pritzker has appointed Oswaldo Alvarez and Marishonta Wilkerson to lead the state’s effort to ensure an accurate and complete 2020 Census count for the state of Illinois.

“The 2020 Census will determine if Illinois gets our fair share of federal resources and representation, and these outstanding leaders will be committed to ensuring a complete and accurate count,” said Governor Pritzker. “We’re engaging in a comprehensive effort to ensure every resident gets the representation they deserve. With a $29 million investment and a new Census Office, the state of Illinois will fight against the fear tactics coming from the federal government and make known that we’re proud to be home to vibrant, thriving communities of all backgrounds.”

“Illinois is well on its way to ensuring a complete and accurate count,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “We’ve never seen such a significant investment in the census until now, and we’re seeing a lot of excitement from our partners and stakeholders in the community. We look forward to working with our grantees to continue our efforts and reach the communities and demographics that have previously been hard to count.”

The two census co-coordinators will lead the new Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services, created by Gov. Pritzker through Executive Order 10. In the FY20 state budget, $29 million was allocated for the state’s comprehensive census effort, a majority of which will support community partners’ work on the ground.

In Lansing, Illinois, Village Clerk Vivian Payne is leading efforts to ensure that Lansing is accurately represented in the 2020 Census. She is organizing a Complete Count Committee made up of volunteers who will serve as “Census Ambassadors.” Committee members will receive training from the US Census Bureau so they can answer questions and address fears about census participation. The Complete Count Committee is nearly finalized and will include people of influence in a variety of networks who can act as trusted voices to Lansing’s diverse population.

Last month, the Illinois Department of Human Services issued a statewide Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to issue grants to community providers and local governments to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census. Applications were due Friday, September 13.

More information about Illinois’ census efforts and the funding opportunity can be found at census.illinois.gov.

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