Lansing residents to receive census invitations next month

Census specialist Kimberly Garrett comes to Lansing Library to encourage and inform

by Jennifer Pallay

LANSING, Ill. (January 23, 2020) – Making sure everyone is counted in the upcoming Census is important to the future of Lansing and local and regional Census representatives have been working to spread the word about just how important it is.

Census counts determine local funding, planning for hospitals and schools, state and federal representation and local resources.

These were some of the topics covered by U.S. Census partnership specialist Kimberly D. Garrett when she spoke to Lansing residents Jan. 21 at the Lansing Public Library.

The purpose of the talk was to educate, encourage and inform the Lansing community of the census and why it’s important, Garrett said.

Invitations arriving soon

Invitations to complete the Census will arrive at Lansing homes between March 12 and 20, according to Lansing’s Complete Count Committee. Every household will have the option of responding by mail, phone or online. Those who respond right away receive no further requests. Those who do not respond will receive follow-up postcards, letters and visits from Census takers.

Volunteers from a variety of Lansing networks form the Complete Count Committee. Back row, from left: Ernst Lamothe, Veronica Reyes, Melanie Jongsma, Rick Pierce, Bert Rivera, Darvel Stinson, Miguel Gutierrez, Richard Podgorski, Mike Fish. Front row: Vivian Payne, Kim Morley, Karen Adams, Martha Vargas. Not pictured: Debbie Albrecht. (Photo: Cory Stevenson, Census Bureau)

The U.S. Constitution requires a Census be completed every 10 years, Garrett said. “We count everybody one time, only once and in the right place.”

Accurate counts are important

Illinois loses $1,400 of federal funding for every person not counted as the funding is distributed based on the number of people living in the state. The most common people who are not reported are children 5 and younger, college students, millennials, snowbirds, the homeless and immigrants, Garrett said. Yet those people still use the state’s resources.

In addition, Illinois is in jeopardy of losing two seats in the United States House of Representatives.

Census jobs available

Garrett also spoke about the need to hire 100,000 Census workers across the country and encouraged attendees to consider applying. In addition to supporting the community, census jobs offer great pay, flexible hours and paid training, she said.

The Census bureau is currently hiring people who are 18 and older, are a U.S. citizen, have a valid social security number and have an email address. The pay in Cook County is $18 to $25 per hour and full time, part time and flexible hours are available. Positions include clerk, IT, leasing, numerators, census takers, specialists and managers. To apply, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

2020 Census workers

“We are trying to get the word out and asking the community to help by working … who better to service your area than you? Who cares more about Lansing than the people who live there?” she asked.

Employment with the Census bureau continues through September 2020.

Census quick facts

  • Between March 12 and March 20, Lansing households will receive an invitation to complete the Census.
  • This is the first time in history the Census can be filled out online.
  • There is no citizenship question.
  • A social security number is not required or requested to take the Census.
  • The census is confidential.
  • Any census worker should have a government ID.

Read more:

Census 2020 can benefit Lansing Hispanics
5 ways census data can be used in Lansing
Census 2020: a timeline

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