October 16, 2020 Minutes

Illinois 2020 Census Advisory Panel
October 16, 2020


Phone Number: 312-535-8110 Access Code: 802-409-251#

WebEx Link:



Panel Members on WebEx: Deborah Bennett, former Representative Mike Fortner, State Representative Elizabeth (Lisa) Hernandez, State Representative Theresa Mah, State Senator Dan McConchie, Maria Pesqueira, State Representative Andre Thapedi,

Panel Members Absent: State Senator Kimberly Lightford, State Senator Andy Manar, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Representative Ryan Spain, State Senator Jil Tracy, State Representative Carol Ammons

Staff on WebEx: IDHS Secretary Grace Hou; Oswaldo Alvarez, IDHS; Marishonta Wilkerson, IDHS; John Schomberg, IDHS.

Welcome and Introductions

Marishonta Wilkerson, IDHS, called the meeting to order at 9:33am Ms. Wilkerson began the meeting by stating that the Census count had ended and thanking everyone for attending.

Public Participation

IDHS Deputy General Counsel John Schomberg announced that there were no submissions for public participation ahead of the meeting.

Roll Call

John Schomberg called roll and a quorum was not initially reached among the panel members. After the addition of State Representative Thapedi and State Representative Hernandez, a quorum was reached.

Approval of Minutes

John Schomberg sought a motion to approve the minutes from the September 2020 meeting. Former State Representative Fortner moved to approve and State Representative Thapedi seconded. The meeting minutes were unanimously approved by roll call vote.

Update on Judicial Hearings

John Schomberg provided an update on court cases regarding the U.S. Census. At the time, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the trial court order requiring data collection and the Census portal to remain open through October 31st. As a result, the U.S. Census ceased data collection at 11:59pm Hawaiian time on October 15th. The deadline for sending data to the Trump Administration remains in litigation, but is currently set for December 31, 2020.

U.S. Census Bureau (USCB)

Ellisa Johnson from the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) gave a Census update. Ms. Johnson stated that the Census count closed on October 15, 2020 at 11:59pm Hawaiian time, including the closing of self-response collection, the Census portal, non-response follow-up, and phone lines. She stated that paper questionnaires needed to be postmarked no later than October 15, 2020.

2020 Census Grant Program Update

Oswaldo Alverez, IDHS, provided an update on the final Census numbers. As of October 15, 2020, Illinois was 99.9% enumerated. The state's self-response rate was 71.3%, and non-response follow-up was over 28%. As of October 15, 2020, Illinois was ranked 6th in the U.S. for self-response rate. Illinois is the most populous state in the top 10, and the only state in the top 10 with a city of over 2 million people. Mr. Alvarez also offered an update on the top 10 and bottom 10 Illinois counties as to self-response rates.

Dr. Howard Hogan, USCB's former Chief Demographer, gave an update on next steps for the USCB.

Maria Pesqueria asked if it was possible to separate undocumented immigrants from the count. Dr. Hogan stated that he does not believe there is any feasible way for this to be done. He stated that the administration could try to subtract the number of individuals in I.C.E. detention and create a new apportionment number from that figure. Historically, the USCB has had the goal to count everybody.

Marishonta Wilkerson provided an update on the final push initiative for the Census in Illinois. The IDHS Census team is working with Regional Intermediaries (RIs) for final reports to be completed. Ms. Wilkerson also provided an update on the $1 million that was used in the last month for Census marketing. She stated that during the final push, there were many efforts centered on Black and Latino communities in Illinois.

State Rep. Hernandez asked if all the $14.5 million for FY21 was spent. Ms. Wilkerson responded that will be assessed after final financial reports are received from RIs, but that, preliminarily, the funds have largely been exhausted.

Timeline Review

The Census Office reminded the panel that the Census portal closed on October 15, 2020 at 11:59pm Hawaiian time, and data is currently due to the federal administration on December 31, 2020.

Future Meetings

The Census Office reminded participants that meetings will continue to be on the third Friday of the month through December 2020.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:44am.