Illinois Campus Compact: 2020 Census Update

November 26, 2019

Hello from downtown Chicago! We are Campus Compact Illinois and our mission is to increase awareness and education surrounding the upcoming 2020 census in historically hard-to-count areas.

It’s already the end of November, and *spooky season* is long gone; however, the scariest thing of all is that the state of Illinois has lost a seat in the United States House of Representatives after every census since 1960. EEK! Illinois is also projected to lose another two seats, if we don’t exercise our civic duty by participating in the upcoming census. Illinois losing more seats would mean a lack of representation and funding that could help this beautiful state be the best that it could be, and that’s pretty scary, if you ask us. However, this Thanksgiving, we are thankful for being able to do something about these daunting statistics!

Although the holidays are just around the corner, in less than 5 months it will truly be the most wonderful time of the year! On April 1 of next year, the 2020 census will be observed nationwide. This is a historical census, because for the first time EVER, it will be available to be filled out online. A shiny new decade calls for a shiny new census!

Here at Campus Compact Illinois, we have been hard at work, making sure to raise as much census awareness on college campuses as we possibly can. We have big plans for the upcoming months, and we’re off to a great start, as October was a very productive month.

The month started with a meeting that was put on by Forefront and CHANGE Illinois on the 8th of October. This meeting was quite informative on the census itself, redistricting, and how these things affect democracy as we know it. A presentation from George Chung of More Equitable Democracy on census and redistricting highlighted the importance of equitable democracy and proportional representation that allows all demographics to be represented in local and state government, with emphasis on the role that the census plays in these processes. Another presentation was put on by Madeline Doubek of CHANGE Illinois (@ChangeIL)about the Fair Maps Amendment and how it aims to use minority protection language, fair counting of people where they live, prioritize voting rights acts, and de-nest districts; all in the name of fair counting for the Illinois census!

As for our work here at Campus Compact, we have been putting our nose to the grindstone in developing our version of a fellowship program in efforts to reach college students around the state of Illinois. These fellows will be exercising their civic engagement by reaching out to their classmates and spreading the word/increasing education about the upcoming 2020 census. We’ve made a handbook and a toolkit for our fellows so that they have instructions, outlines, and recourses on how to best reach their classmates about the importance of their role in this historical census. If you’d like to take a gander, the links will be provided below.

All in all, we are off to a great start here at Campus Compact Illinois! With less than 5 months left until the big census day, we are excited to be doing this work for the sake of the great state of Illinois. Keep your eyes open for more blog posts to come, and until then, stay warm!

Fellowship Program Toolkit (Last Updated 11/12/19)

ILCountMeIn2020 Toolkit

Various 2020 Census Resources

National Campus Compact 2020 Census Knowledge Hub

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