The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is gearing up to ensure an accurate count of all communities in Illinois for the Census 2020. As you know, a census undercount could diminish Illinois' representation in Congress and access to our fair share of federal funding.
Last week Governor JB Pritzker signed Executive Order 19-10 establishing a new Census Program within IDHS, and a bipartisan, bicameral Census Advisory Panel to guide its work. The Illinois General Assembly also included $29 million in funding for this purpose in Fiscal Year 2020. This group will focus on ensuring full participation in the Census 2020 through the distribution of a statewide Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). IDHS will invite participation from community organizations and local governments statewide.
The Census program will adhere to all Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requirements. Efforts will focus on populations and geographies deemed "Hard to Count" by the U.S. Census Bureau. ("Hard to Count" is defined as a geography where the self-response rate in the 2010 decennial census was 73% or less.)
Before IDHS finalizes the NOFO, we want to learn about the experiences of community organizations and local governments across Illinois related to the census and the State grant-making process. Please take our short survey, which is intended to provide information for the development of the NOFO and to ensure maximum success for Illinois in the Census 2020 effort. Responses to this survey are anonymous and no personal or organizational information is being collected from the questions.
Thank you in advance for your participation in the Census 2020 Survey -- We Want to Hear from You!
Grace B. Hou
Illinois Department of Human Services