June 19, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Illinois 2020 Census Advisory Panel June 19, 2020



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

WebEx Link: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/j.php?MTID=m21edb7aefd17f6b8a03a14e4ac9141a8


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 Representative Carol Ammons, State Senator Kimberly Lightford, State Senator Andy Manar, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Representative Ryan Spain, State Senator Jil Tracy.

Staff on WebEx: Deputy Governor Sol Flores, IDHS Secretary Grace Hou, Oswaldo Alvarez, IDHS, John Schomberg, IDHS, and Marishonta Wilkerson, IDHS.

Welcome and Introductions

Deputy Governor Sol Flores called the meeting to order at 9:35 am. Ms. Flores acknowledged the celebration of Juneteenth and the role the Census Office is taking to celebrate while promoting the Census.

Public Participation

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

April 2020 and May 2020 Minutes Approval

Lacking a quorum, the Panel postponed approval of the April and May 2020 minutes.

U.S. Census Bureau Update

Janine Beasley from the U.S. Census Bureau's ("USCB") Midwest Regional Office shared the national response rates compared to Illinois. She also shared some operational updates: (1) Census workers have dropped packets of Census materials in rural counties of Henderson, Polk, Pulaski, and Hardin, counties

that have many residents who do not receive regular mail; (2) Dedicated outreach to people experiencing homelessness has been rescheduled to September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th; and (3) Enumeration is scheduled between August 11th - September 21st.

The panel asked questions about the margin of error, which communities receive packets (rural communities who do not receive mail at their home address), and USCB Partnership Specialists.

Deborah Bennett, State Representative Lisa Hernandez, Maria Pesqueira, and State Senator McConchie joined the meeting during the USCB presentation.

Approval of April 2020 and May 2020 Minutes

John Schomberg announced the panel had achieved a quorum and could consider approval of the meeting minutes. Former Representative Mike Fortner moved to approve the April and May 2020 meeting minutes and Maria Pesqueira seconded. The April and May minutes were approved unanimously.

2020 Census Grant Program Update

Oswaldo Alvarez shared that Illinois is in the top ten states for response at 66.2% of Illinoisans responding. In 2010, Illinois reached a 70.5% response rate. Monroe County is a top county, with an over 80% response rate. All collar counties are over a 70% response rate.

Illinois counties with the lowest response rate include Hardin and Calhoun, which have below a 25% response rate. Cook County is at a 60.9% response rate, while Chicago is at a 53.8% response rate.

Chicago is leading other large cities of over 2 million people.

Rep. Thapedi asked if the state has been able to identify neighborhoods with low self-response rates. Ms. Wilkerson shared that the Census Office has identified Little Village, North Lawndale, New City/Back of the Yards, Englewood, West Englewood, Pilsen, Austin, Humboldt Park, Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa neighborhoods as amongst the neighborhoods with large HTC tracts. The Census Office increased its marketing in those neighborhoods and has redirected its citywide RIs to focus on those areas.

FY21 Census Budget

Ms. Wilkerson thanked the members of the Illinois General Assembly for their leadership in securing the FY21 $14.5 million appropriation. To date, Illinois is the only state in the nation that appropriated Census funding for FY21. In Illinois, the IDHS Census Office will be the only one that will see this work until completion as private philanthropy, the City of Chicago, and Cook County will not continue funding after August 2020.

Ms. Wilkerson elaborated that of that $14.5 million, approximately $2.5 million is for marketing and

$500,000 is for technical assistance to RIs. The panel discussed trying to reach people through local governments, as they pay for local services (the water bill, etc.).


The Census Office has been working with the City of Chicago, Cook County and Forefront to partner on outreach. The Census Office designated June as Census month. On June 12th, there was a telethon with Telemundo. On June 17th, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) organized a series of car caravans to promote the census in Chicago, Waukegan, and Joliet, followed by an online concert and social media storm.

Mr. Alvarez shared that on June 19th the Census Office organized "Black Census Day" with a series of events and social media storms. And June 29th will be "Pride Census Day" with activities planned by grantees coupled with social media storms.

Executive Order Review

Mr. Alvarez announced that the Census Executive Order will be extended through December in light of the extended federal census deadlines.

Timeline Review

Mr. Alvarez shared that the online portal to respond is extended to October 31st. The panel discussed FY20 and FY21 Census funding, that the State would continue to rely on the RIs selected through the FY20 Notice of Funding Opportunity, and metrics and State performance for the 2020 Census.

The meeting adjourned at 11:50 am.