Elgin's 2020 Census push to carry on with social media blitz
The effort to get all Elgin residents counted in the 2020 Census will have a coordinated social media push Wednesday.
The city, Elgin Area School District U-46, Gail Borden Public Library District, Centro de Informacion and other partners will push out their "Form Focus" message to encourage people to fill out the Census questionnaires they received in the mail this month. The questionnaires were sent to households that didn't provide Census responses online after receiving a notice last month.
Ultimately, "we encourage everybody to participate using any way that they prefer -- online, by phone or via the printed form," said Denise Raleigh, chairwoman of Elgin Complete Count. The initiative is a partnership among local leaders and organizations that obtained grant money for a comprehensive informational campaign about the 2020 Census.
Elgin had a 58.1% self-response rate as of Monday, better than the 55.7% rate across the state and the 51% rate across the nation, according to the U.S. Census website. Still, that's a long way from the final 79% response rate in the 2010 Census, Raleigh said.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census adjusted its timeline for the 2020 count, with the final deadline for responses moved from July 31 to Oct. 31. All field activities are stopped until June 1.
Census takers will drop off invitations to respond to households from about mid-June to mid-July. They will conduct in-person interviews starting Aug. 11.
The pandemic also derailed local Census initiatives in Elgin, including the postponement, to a yet-to-be-determined date, of a pizza and pie celebration originally scheduled March 14.
Accurate Census counts are crucial because they help determine how much federal funding is allocated locally for needs such as housing grants and community development block grants.
For more information about Elgin Complete Count activities, visit gailborden.info/census.