Chicago Tribune: Census preview in Waukegan warns residents that ‘you don’t exist’ when failing to participate
Chicago Tribune: Census preview in Waukegan warns residents that 'you don’t exist' when failing to participate
he ongoing controversy over whether a citizenship question should be included in the 2020 census was discussed at a community briefing Tuesday by representatives of organizations working to educate communities on the impact an accurate count can have on the state’s resources and Illinois congressional representation.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled that it might allow the citizenship question to be added in the upcoming census forms after hearing oral arguments from both sides. …
At stake are billions of dollars in federal funding that are tied to population figures determined by the census, according to a study by the George Washington University Institute for Public Policy.
“The tragedy of it all is that the communities that are the hardest to count are the ones that are yearning to be seen by their government,” said Georgia Logothetis, assistant director of the nonprofit group Common Cause Illinois, which works on democracy, voting rights and gerrymandering issues.
We’re talking children, people living below the poverty line, minorities and immigrants,” Logothetis added. “For every 1% of people that were not counted in the last census, Illinois lost $122 million in health and human services funding.”
Illinois could also have less representation and political power, as the state stands to lose one or two congressional seats if under-counted in next year’s census.
“This is a true chance for every single person to be counted,” Logothetis said. “In the eyes of the government, if you don’t respond to the census, you don’t exist.”
But the problem of under-counting is not new to the country.
Logothetis said it has existed since the census began in 1790, when people didn’t want to be participate for religious purposes and for fear they would be taxed.