November 15, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Illinois 2020 Census Advisory Panel
November 15, 2019
9:30 am


IDHS Harris Building - 100 S Grand Ave, 3rd Floor, Springfield

James R. Thompson Center - 100 W Randolph St, Suite 16-504, Chicago

Panel members in Chicago: State Representative Theresa Mah, Deborah Bennett

Panel members in Springfield: State Representative Andre Thapedi, Maria Pesquiera

Panel members participating by phone/video: State Representative Elizabeth (Lisa) Hernandez, Representative Ryan Spain* (*participated beginning at 10:30am)

Panel members absent: Former Representative Mike Fortner, State Senator Kimberly Lightford, State Senator Andy Manar, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Senator Dan McConchie, State Senator Jill Tracy

Staff in attendance: Deputy Governor Sol Flores, Secretary Grace Hou, Oswaldo Alvarez, John Arenas, Jeanine Beasley, Irene Lyons, Hina Mahmood, John Schomberg, Jeanine Stroger, Lizzy Whitehorn, Marishonta Wilkerson, Ryan Croke, Michael Deneroff, Stephanie Jackson, Andre Jordan, Emily Katalinich, Lisa Peterson, Dana Stoeger, Dan Weber, Yolanda Williams

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by John Schomberg, IDHS General Counsel, at 9:43 am and roll call was conducted. Quorum was not met, and the October 18, 2019 meeting minutes could not be approved.

Public Participation

One member of the public provided public comment:

Latyifa Fields from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus' Housing and Community Development shared that the organization will host public meetings to gather ideas and best practices to reach hard-to-count populations and geographies on December 2, 2019 at Glen Ellyn Community College, December 9, 2019 at Oakton Community College, and December 10, 2019 at Prairie State Community College.

Representative Thapedi asked what the plan is for outreach in the collar counties and Chicago suburbs. Fields responded that the Caucus is conducting its application process for its subgrantees at the moment. To apply, applicants had to submit the three requirements determined by the state (GATA compliance, ICQ, and progress assessment), as well as an expression of interest that included an itemized budget and the scope of the proposal.

Representative Thapedi followed up to ask what the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus believes is the best way to target potential partners and whether all of them must be GATA compliant. Fields answered that all applicants were GATA compliant, completing a required questionnaire and risk assessment. Applications are scored based on their focus on HTC communities and low response Census tracts.

Representative Thapedi inquired whether flexibility to allow for non-GATA compliant partners would help the Mayor's Caucus. Fields says she does not know, and she was not prepared to answer the question at the time. Maria Pesqueira thanked Ms. Fields for taking time to answer questions.

Update from the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS)

Jeanine Stroger from SOS shared a current list of all 175 local Complete Count Commissions (CCC). CCC are provided with a toolkit which includes activities and talking points to engage and mobilize individuals to complete the census questionnaire.

Update from the US Census Bureau (USCB)

Jeanine Beasley from the USCB shared that peak operations will begin in January 2020 which includes launching their multi-tier communications campaign. Panel members asked questions about temporary census employment including what the application process is, who is eligible to apply, and how does the temporary employment effect individuals' public benefits.

Jeanine Beasley shared that there is a rolling application process for canvassing, Group Quarters, and census takers. Employment opportunities can be found at Applicants receive a notification when their application is received and if there is any change in the status of their application. The USCB does not drug test applicants, but employees can be tested if drug usage is suspected.

Individuals that gain temporary employment via the census will be provided a waiver to protect their benefits.

Also, any legal permanent resident can apply, regardless of whether they are seeking citizenship.

Census Education Summit

Shonta Wilkerson provided an update about the Census Education Summit, which will be hosted at Malcom X College on December 4th, in partnership with the Governor's Office, the Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Department of Human Services. The goals for the summit are to share toolkits, data, and facilitate relationship building.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Bus Tour

Marishonta Wilkerson shared that leaders from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will host a census bus on Saturday, November 23rd. The tour will cover Chicago's western and southern suburbs and city's south and west sides and includes a stop at Representative Thapedi's census office. Congresspeople, deputy governors, and the Lieutenant Governor will be in attendance.

Update on Benefit Waivers

Oswaldo Alvarez explained that the IDHS will submit an emergency rules waiver to ensure all public benefits offered by the department will not be reduced or terminated due to temporary employment via the USCB. IDHS will also file a permanent "rule change." The Department of Healthcare and Family Services will file a similar waiver for Medicaid benefits.

Northwest Regional Intermediary

In response to the 2020 Census Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Northwest region, two complete applications were submitted by the November 4th, 2019 deadline. The applications were reviewed and scored through a merit-based review process. Illinois Public Health Association was selected to serve the Northwest region which includes, JoDaviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Lee, LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam, Henry, Mercer and Rock Island Counties.

Data-Driven Approach

Oswaldo Alvarez shared that IDHS established an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the University of Illinois Chicago's College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs to support reporting and data collection for the 2020 Census Grant Program.

Marketing Request for Funding Proposal (RFP)

Shonta Wilkerson announced that a census communications and marketing RFP will be launched before the end of the year. IDHS will ensure resources are available in the absence of additional state funding for this important strategy.

Timeline Review

The timeline has been updated to include important DHS dates and the Northwest Region. The next Census Advisory Panel meeting is scheduled for December 20, 2019.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:27 am.