Census deadline extended, says ICRF Chair Jeffery Leving

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information provided by the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood

CHICAGO Ill. (September 30, 2020) – Jeffery M. Leving, chairman of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, issued the following statement today:

I’ve been talking for decades about the value of fathers in the upbringing of their children. Too many children struggle if their father is absent.

  • 70% of those in juvenile detention grew up in a single-parent environment.
  • Children without their father in their lives are twice as likely to drop out of school.
  • Children whose fathers are absent consistently score lower than the norm on reading and math tests.

I included this information in my first book Fathers’ Rights. But where did it come from? It came from the census.

The Census Bureau does more than just count people. It also conducts the American Community Survey, to compile demographic information that researchers can use to discover our social and economic problems, find the causes, and seek solutions. We do not want our communities, or any community, to be underrepresented in these reports.

The census was due to end today, but a federal judge ordered the census kept open until the end of October. My friend State Rep. LaShawn Ford put together an important event, supported by the Westside NAACP, at Columbus Park in Chicago, on Sunday to help the U.S. Census Bureau. I spoke, as did political and community figures. Ultimately, the census determines political representation, as well as the allocation of resources. We don’t want to get less than our fair share.

I urge fathers to fill out the census. Making sure that you and your children count is a gift that will last a decade, and it will have an impact on their opportunities in education, public safety, and job prospects. I know fathers are busy, but please take 10 minutes for yourself, your family, your community, and everyone’s future to complete this form. You can do it at 2020Census.gov.

The census is a crucial part of any effort to see that communities are properly represented. A community that has a high census response rate is a community that exists politically, socially, economically, and in academic research. For the good of our communities, please stand up and be counted, so you count.

At the beginning of this year, Lansing’s Complete Count Committee had a goal of over 90% census participation in Lansing, but plans for in-person census promotion events had to be cancelled in response to COVID-19. When the committee reconvened in August, Lansing’s participation rate was in the 70s, and the committee set a new goal of 75% participation. As of this writing, Lansing’s rate is 74.7%.

The census response rate map is available for viewing by state, city, and township, and response rates to the 2010 census are provided for comparison.

  • Lansing’s participation rate in Census 2020