Lansing hopes to increase Census response before Sept. 30 deadline

“Under-counted communities will lose millions of dollars over a 10-year period for important programs and infrastructure such as new roads,” says Clerk Payne

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 16, 2020) – With only two weeks until the September 30 deadline for the the 2020 Census, the Village of Lansing is taking steps to increase the response rate in the Village from 73.9% to 75%.

Lansing Village Clerk Vivian Payne said the Village of Lansing has recently taken measures to increase awareness and participation. “We have recently mailed a postcard to every household letting folks know that the deadline is swiftly approaching, and asking everyone to take a few minutes to respond,” she said. “We have also delivered hundreds of bags with flyers to different stores and are currently in the process of hand delivering door hangers in some of the under-counted areas of Lansing. The Village will also be sending out a Code Red announcement next week to remind folks to respond.”

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Village Clerk Vivian Payne (left) speaks to the Complete Count Committee at its latest meeting in early September. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Payne is head of the Complete Count Committee in Lansing, a group that has been focused on increasing Census participation and educating about the importance of the Census. She said that before COVID-19 hit, the committee was hoping to have a response rate of 80-90%. However, with only a couple weeks left before the deadline, the new goal is 75%.

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These response rates refer to the percentage of households in Lansing, not the population. Although household numbers are more easily accessible, the reason for the Census is to count individuals within those households, as well as obtain other basic information about the people living in a household.

Census information is used to determine funding for programs and services at a local level. “Billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed to communities across the country based on the statistics from our Census,” Payne said. “Under-counted communities will lose millions of dollars over a 10-year period for important programs and infrastructure such as new roads, school funding, low-income housing, and healthcare and emergency services.”

“If you care about the community you live in and you want to see the Village of Lansing continue to thrive, you should complete the 2020 Census. Your response is completely confidential, and the U.S. Census Bureau cannot share your information with any other governmental agency,” Payne said.

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