CHICAGO: A Panel Discussion in Naperville (a Chicago suburb) was held on June 25 with representatives from the local, State and Federal Government, US Census Bureau and Naperville Area Community Organizations to discuss the role that residents and organizations play in assuring that all residents are counted in the 2020 US Census.
The Panel Discussion was hosted by Naperville Complete Count Committee under the leadership of Mayor Steve Chirico, City of Naperville and Mark Rice, Liaison, Naperville Complete Count Committee on Facebook Live. Over 300 people logged in and viewed the panel discussion.
Mark Rice, Panel Discussion moderator, announced that Naperville Complete Count Committee includes representatives from 135 Naperville Area Groups and is currently tracking #1 in the US at 79.8% US Census Self Response for cities over 140,000 residents.
Mayor Chirico, in his Opening Remarks, said that the Census will be of great help in understanding the profile of different sections of the community, allocating resources and taking innovative initiatives in order to ensure that Naperville further consolidates its position as a great City for the people to have successful careers, raise families, and retire peacefully.
Congressman Bill Foster, Illinois Senate, 11th District, underscored the importance of counting every person residing in the City. He noted that a community gains $1,800 a year and $18,000 over the 10 years before the next census for each resident counted.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Illinois, 14th District, advised people to answer the Census questions without fear as these are confidential, protected by federal law, and cannot be used against them in any way. “Even though Naperville is leading the country in terms of overall response rate, many children are still at a higher risk of going uncounted. Each and every resident of a household need to be counted.”
Congressman Sean Casten, Illinois stated that answering the questions on the 2020 Census by spending a few minutes will go a long way in ensuring that Naperville remains aleading communitywith great facilities for education, health, entrepreneurship, etc. “Make sure everybody gets counted because everybody counts”, he added.
Senator Laura Ellman, Illinois Senate 21st District, noted, with a sense of pride, that Naperville, with the highest percentage of participation in the Census, should be a role model for other cites from across the US. She called upon the local groups to serve as messengers and enhance the participation of people in the Census.
Kashif Fakruddin, President, ICN, Naperville said that his organization would collaborate with other institutions in order to ensure that people from all walks of life participate in the Census, in huge numbers. “A broad-based and coordinated effort will raise the bar much higher and make Naperville the Number One City in terms of the highest participation of people in Census”, he added.
Bill Liu, Chairman of Chinese Community Outreach, Naperville, said that as leader of the Xilin Association Naperville, he would use the Chinese School, Adult Day Care, and Meal Delivery Program in order to deliver the message about the importance of Census and participation of his community in it, in a big way.
VasaviChakka, Board Member, Indian Community Outreach noted that Indian-Americans comprise a significant portion of Naperville’s population and her organization is proactively supporting the Census outreach efforts.
Marilyn A Sanders, Chicago Regional Director, US Census Bureau said that her agency will continue to hire and train workers to start door-to-door counts in Mid August.
Special thanks were extended to Ashfaq Syed for coordinating the Panel Discussion, developing the 2020 Census Naperville Complete Count Committee Facebook page and for taking an active role in its many activities.