‘Take 10 to Count 618:’ Gov. Pritzker pushes southern Illinoisans to complete census

By Danny Connolly, Staff Reporter

Gov. JB Pritzker stopped in Carbondale today to promote filling the census out in the last week residents are able to be counted.  

According to Mayor of Carbondale Mike Henry, Carbondale is just over 50% complete with the census. Carbondale is 20% below the state’s average.  

The census is a 12-question survey conducted every 10 years. The count determined by the census is used by the federal government for funding and congressional representation. 

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“Today, when Illinoisans pay federal taxes, we’re only one of ten states that gets back less than what we send to Washington,” Pritzker said. “That’s not fair; we can do so much better just with the census.” 

Pritzker addressed the confusion among college students filling out the census. While SIU does count all students living on-campus, it does not count any students living off campus.

“I want all students living in the Carbondale area off-campus to know that they should make sure that they should get counted too,” Pritzker said. “If you know a student living off campus, please ask them [if they have completed the census].

Henry said a main reason why Carbondale residents haven’t filled out the census is that they are scared because of their immigration status or other information with ICE or other law enforcement officials.    

“Your information does not go to either one of those agencies.” Henry said 

Illinois is number seven among all the states in the count, and number two in the top ten most populous states. 

 For each person counted in the Census, Carbondale will receive about $1,400 dollars in federal funding, state senator Dale Fowler said. 

  “Getting a complete count is work that will help us shape the next decade of federal funding and congressional representation here,” Pritzker said. 

The Executive Director of Carbondale Main Street, Megan Cole, said filling out the census is important to Carbondale’s economic vitality.  

“The census is also crucial for our small businesses, our city centers and our sense of place,” Cole said. “Every dollar that comes into our health centers or city services trickle down and really impact our local economy.”   

The secretary of Illinois Department of Human Services, Grace Hou, said that Illinois is the only state still marketing to residents to fill out the census. 

“This is our last chance to get it right until 2030,” Hou said.

Governor Pritzker, Senator Fowler, and Hou also spoke at Man-Tra-Con Corporation today in Marion promoting the census.  

To fill out the census, you can go to my2020census.gov or 1-844-330-2020. The deadline for the census ends on September 30th. 

Staff reporter Danny Connolly can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DConnollyTV.

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