Bourne Reminds Constituents to Be Counted, Becomes Census Champion

The upcoming census in 2020 is important for the state of Illinois. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) has joined other community and government leaders in signing on to be a Census Champion.

The census is vital for determining how many Congressional Districts Illinois will have, and how much federal funding the state will receive for things like social services, schools, and infrastructure.

“Because Illinois’ population has been in decline; it is more important now than ever that we make sure each and every Illinoisan is counted so that we receive the federal funding we’re entitled to,” Rep. Bourne said. “It is vital that our communities get the resources they need and the congressional representation we deserve.”

Census Champions is a network of government officials and community leaders committed to ensuring a fair and accurate count everywhere, especially in hard-to-count communities.

Calculating an accurate census is an increasingly difficult task as the U.S. population to continues to grow. For the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau hopes to maximize the number of self-responses. For the first time ever the Bureau will accept responses online, via a website going live in March. Respondents can also respond via mail or phone. Census takers will be hired to follow up with those who do not respond. The Bureau’s recruitment website recently went live; interested applicants can visit www.2020census.gov/jobs to apply.

The Illinois FY2020 budget included a record $29 million to prepare and implement the census, the largest per-person allocation made in any state in the nation. Over the summer, Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 2019-10 establishing a new Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services and a bipartisan, bicameral Census Advisory Panel to guide its work.

While Rep. Bourne is committed to doing her part as an elected official to mobilize effective “Get Out the Count” efforts, she also advises constituents to be wary of scams: “constituents should be aware that the Census Bureau will never ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. The information they collect will be purely demographic.”

The census is a once a decade accounting of the United States population and demographics as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The first census occurred in August 1790 under the guidance of Thomas Jefferson and since 1930, April 1st has marked ‘Census Day’. Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution states the reason for the census; to appropriate the correct number of representatives and direct taxes amongst the states.