December 20 Meeting Minutes

Illinois 2020 Census Advisory Panel
December 20, 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: Deborah Bennett, State Representative Elizabeth (Lisa) Hernandez, State Representative Theresa Mah, State Senator Dan McConchie, Maria Pesqueira

Panel members in Springfield: None

Panel members participating by phone/video: Former Representative Mike Fortner, Representative Ryan Spain, State Representative Andre Thapedi

Panel members absent: State Senator Kimberly Lightford, State Senator Andy Manar, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Senator Jill Tracy

Staff in attendance (Springfield): Ryan Croke, Michael Deneroff, Andre Jordan, Dana Stroger, Dan Weber, Yolanda Williams

Staff in attendance (Chicago): Deputy Governor Sol Flores, Secretary Grace Hou, Oswaldo Alvarez, John Arenas, Hina Mahmood, John Schomberg, Lizzy Whitehorn

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Deputy Governor Sol Flores at 9:40am. IDHS General Counsel John Schomberg summarized the roll call. The panel initially lacked a quorum and the approval of minutes was delayed. Additional panel members ultimately joined the meeting, as detailed below.

Public Participation

One member of the public provided public comment:

Lyndon Skyler of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association asked if gift cards can be used as incentives to complete the census questionnaire. IDHS General Counsel John Schomberg replied that financial incentives are not permissible expenses for the 2020 Census Grant Program.

Panel member State Representative Theresa Mah joined the meeting during public participation.

Update from the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS)

Jeanine Stroger from SOS shared that the information about the 2020 Census will be included with other communication the office sends out to Illinois residents including drivers and business license renewal notifications. SOS will post a sample census questionnaire on their website and individuals will be able to complete the questionnaire at SOS sites in Central and Southern Illinois.

Panel members State Representative Elizabeth (Lisa) Hernandez and Maria Pesqueira joined the meeting during Ms. Stroger's presentation.

October and November Minute Approval

Having a quorum, on Maria Pesqueira's motion, seconded by Representative Hernandez, the panel unanimously approved the October 18, 2019 and November 15, 2019 minutes.

Update from the U.S. Census Bureau (UCSB)

Ellisa Johnson from USCB shared that the Bureau is actively recruiting and hiring for temporary census positions and increased hourly wages from $17.50/hour to $29.50/hour, depending on the region.

The USCB will fully launch its marketing campaign in January 2020. The marketing campaign which includes add buys with ethnic media outlets can be reviewed at

2020 Census Grant Program Update

Regional Intermediary (RI) Orientation

Oswaldo Alvarez, Census Co-Director, shared that on November 20, 2019, the Census Office at IDHS held a day-long orientation in Chicago for all 31 RIs. During the orientation RIs were provided an overview of the 2020 Census Grant Program, reporting requirements, and utilizing data for greater impact. The RIs were also provided time to connect and collaborate with organizations from across the state and those working within their region. Twenty-seven of the 31 RIs have fully-executed agreements, and there are currently over 350 subrecipients, including over 100 in Chicago.

Marketing Strategy

IDHS released a $3 million Request for Proposals for census marketing and public relations including earned, paid, and digital media services. Proposals are due on December 27, 2019. The selected vendor will start in late January or early February. IDHS partnered with CommunityConnect Labs, which will provide language-accessible and digitally accessible information, and reminders via text to encourage residents to respond to the 2020 Census.

Coordination Efforts

The Census Office at IDHS is coordinating with 25 sister state agencies to promote the census. The Census Office is also meeting monthly with the City of Chicago and Cook County to coordinate to maximize the impact of their respective investments.

Census Event Recaps

Census Education Summit

The Census Office at IDHS hosted the Census Education Summit with Illinois State Board of Education and US Census Bureau to equip educators from across the state with tools to engage children birth-5 and the young and mobile, both hard-to-count populations, in the census. Leadership from City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and the Elgin School District among others presented on panels and shared best practices to engage these populations.

Representative Mah shared positive remarks about the event and recommended hosting similar gatherings in other regions of the state.

Legislative Partnerships

The Census Co-Directors worked with the Black and Latino Caucus to promote the census via townhall meetings, bus tours, and job recruitment fairs. Representative Thapedi stated that bus tour was a huge success. His residents received helpful information from the USCB, the Census Office, and local RIs.

World Business Chicago

The Census Office at IDHS and participated in the World Business Chicago census event which focused on how to promote the census in the workplace and engage workers to complete the census questionnaire. Deputy Governor Flores added that the State will work with the State's Department of Employment Security and Department of Labor to create a statewide employer strategy, engaging with human resources departments to make sure workers are counted.

Timeline Review

The next Census Advisory Panel meeting is scheduled for January 17, 2020.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:42am.