University of Illinois Extension offers free webinar on upcoming decennial census

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    University of Illinois Extension logo Courtesy of University of Illinois Extension

Submitted by Nancy E. Ouedraogo
Updated 10/10/2019 7:55 PM

University of Illinois Extension will host a free webinar to educate the public on how to ensure an accurate count for the upcoming decennial census, an issue on which billions of dollars of federal funding for everyday government expenditures is hinged.

The U.S. Census Bureau released population breakdowns in Illinois last August, reflecting decreases in 86 of the state's 102 counties.


Due to this decline, Illinois could lose up to two seats in Congress. In addition to the loss of population and representation, a potential undercount threatens billions of dollars in federal funding for everyday government expenditures, such as highways, education, and more.

The University of Illinois Extension will welcome experts on their "Local Government Education" webinar series to explain how and why local governments and advocacy groups should help ensure an accurate count.

At noon Thursday, Oct. 17, a webinar titled "Counting For Dollars: Census 2020" will be presented by Carrie L. Davis, Democracy Program Director of the Joyce Foundation, Anita Banjeri from Forefront's Democracy Initiative, and Elissa Johnson from the U.S. Regional Census Bureau.

Each expert will give an overview of their respective programs and speak to how important the roles of local governments are in ensuring an accurate count for the upcoming decennial census.

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For registration, visit, or contact Nancy Ouedraogo at or by phone at (217) 244-7020, for more information or reasonable accommodation.

Carrie L. Davis joined the Joyce Foundation as Democracy Program Director in January 2018, bringing deep experience as one of Ohio's leading voting rights advocates. Prior to joining the Foundation, Carrie served as Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio for six years, where she managed all aspects of the statewide organization including membership and leadership development, coordinating state advocacy and public education with a special focus on voters' rights, fund development, communications, and supporting League activities at the local and national levels. Carrie served eight years as staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, where she litigated and lobbied on a variety of issues including voting rights, free speech, criminal justice, racial justice, LGBT rights, reproductive freedom, and government accountability. As a community activist, Carrie is perhaps best known for training citizens in how to lobby their government officials and empowering citizens to exercise their voting rights. She has also volunteered with advocacy groups working on issues such as ending the death penalty, protecting reproductive freedom, and expanding protections for the LGBT community. For several years, she served on the board of Ohioans to Stop Executions. In 2006, Carrie was honored as a "Champion of Choice" by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Concentration in Public Policy and Public Service from Albion College as well as a JD from Case Western Reserve University.

Anita Banerji leads Forefront's Democracy Initiative, Census 2020 outreach, and civic engagement work. Having worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and the Illinois State Government, Anita has a penchant for policy; she enjoys working in advocacy and her nonprofit experience has provided her the opportunity to focus on social policy issues over the last decade. Most recently, Anita served as Legislative Director for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She holds a master's degree in multicultural and organizational communications from DePaul University and a bachelor's degree in print journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also sits on the Associate Board of the Indo-American Center, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to recent immigrants in the Chicago area.

Elissa Johnson is the Partnership Region Coordinator for U.S. Regional Census Bureau in Chicago, and helps promote the Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy, as well as provide outreach and assistance for groups helping to ensure accurate counts across the Midwest.

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