Lansing Public Library and Barber Rick’s are two hubs of information
by Jennifer Pallay
LANSING, Ill. (December 4, 2019) – When census time comes in 2020, Lansing will be ready with resources. Lansing’s Complete Count Committee includes representatives from throughout the village working together to spread the word about the importance of the 2020 census. The group’s goal is to have 100 percent participation, according to its leader Debbie Albrecht.
Albrecht, who is the Lansing Public Library director, said the library will provide resources to those who need help completing the census online. “It is cost effective and requires less manpower to do it this way,” Albrecht said. “But it also presents some challenges, as not everyone has internet in their homes. This can be especially true in hard-to-count areas.”
The library will be dedicating computers and staff to assist people with filling out the census. Albrecht said, “It is required that we complete the census. But most importantly, it is important to you as an individual that you help your town and region get the funds and representation that they deserve.”
The Complete Count Committee (CCC) is looking for ways to get the word out to all Lansing residents that every person—whether a newborn or senior citizen—counts. The committee plans to use advertising, social media platforms, and grassroots efforts to do just that. Religious leaders, school administrators, nonprofit organizations, and businesses are needed to make these efforts successful, Albrecht said.
Rick Pierce, owner of Barber Rick’s in Lansing (17851 Torrence Avenue), is a member of the Complete Count Committee. “Everybody needs to be counted so that we are sure of getting the proper funding for our town,” Pierce said. He said the CCC has recently started to spread the word about the census through advertising and being involved at upcoming events throughout the village. Pierce is doing his part in spreading the word at his business. He recently put up signs advertising the Census 2020 hiring event at the library on December 3. “A lot of the community comes to my shop to get their hair cut, so that will be my niche,” Pierce said.
“One of the most powerful ways to get the message out is person-to-person,” Albrecht said. “There is some misinformation out there. An important fact is that census information is secure and by law cannot be shared with anyone else, including other agencies in the government. There will be no citizenship question on the census. We are going to impress on everyone we speak with that they are a powerful voice for helping us toward a complete count by sharing what they hear with friends and family.”
The census is important to everyone in Lansing, Albrecht said. “It determines the amount of funds that are returned to our little village for many things such as police, fire, and schools, and many other things where money is distributed based on per capita numbers. It also is used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.” Illinois expects to lose one seat due to loss of population over the last 10 years and a correct census count can help ensure another seat is not lost, she said.
CENSUS QUICK FACTS
Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year and how many seats in Congress each state gets.
Residents are encouraged to take the census online. Resources will be available at Lansing Public Library, 2750 Indiana Avenue.
The Census Bureau does not share information with the U.S. government.
The 2020 Census is only 10 questions.
Lansing loses $1,400 for every person who is not counted and that amount is lost per person, per year, until the next census in 2030.