10 (Easy) Ways You Can Ensure a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census

September 2, 2020

The 2020 Census self-response period ends on September 30, and the clock is ticking. The Census informs how billions of dollars are allocated every year to health providers, schools, affordable housing, and hundreds of other critical services that make a difference in our lives every day.

For three years, Forefront’s IL Count Me 2020 program has been hard at work engaging hard-to-count communities, creating videos, hosting social media takeovers, and advocating for a fair count in Illinois. But we need your help in the final stretch to make sure our state gets the representation and funding it deserves. Here are ten things you can do to get Illinois counted.


1. Educate your staff, board, and volunteers.

Add a discussion about the importance of the 2020 Census to the agenda of your next board meeting, staff meeting, and/or volunteer gathering. Meeting virtually? Add this Zoom Background. Or this one!


2. Add a Census banner to your webpage.

This makes it easy for anyone who visits your website to respond. Click here to download ready-to-post graphics.  


3. Train staff to talk about the Census with clients.

Encourage staff to bring up the Census as part of regular conversations with your community. These Census talking points and Census fact sheets are perfect for prepping them for such conversations. For even more resources, visit the IL Count Me In 2020 website.


4: Join IL Count Me In 2020’s September 10 Census At Work Day of Action.

On September 10, set aside 10 minutes during the workday for employees or volunteers to complete the 2020 Census. If your employees have already filled it out, ask them to contact friends and families and encourage them to do the same. Check out our email templates to easily inform your staff that your office is participating, and our September 10 Social Media Outreach toolkit has some pre-drafted messages that can help you and your team spread the word on social media.


5: Remember the Census in your digital communications.

Include a paragraph explaining why the Census is important to your organization or community in your monthly newsletter or dedicated email blasts. Get started with these templates.


6: Raise awareness on social media.

Participate in a Forefront IL Count Me In 2020 social media campaign to help spread the word in your community. View our September 10 toolkit here, and mark your calendars to join us on September 22!


7: If you work in a public-facing location, let visitors fill out the Census.

Make computers or tablets available for participants to fill out the 2020 Census during regularly scheduled service hours. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to adhere to state and municipality guidelines, including proper sanitation procedures. Download this guide to learn how to get people counted at your workplace.


8: Add Census awareness to your ongoing activities.

If you’re interacting with others in-person, post flyers around your office, in bathrooms, or on community bulletin boards. Here’s one encouraging people to respond, another that lets them know how to fill it out, and a flyer that explains how to identify a Census taker. For even more outreach materials, click here.


9: Add a Census reminder to your email signature.

Feel free to write your own, or use this pre-crafted version:

Have you completed the 2020 Census yet? Its just 9 questions and takes less than 10 minutes. Visit www.my2020Census.gov to get counted today!


10: Reach out to your communities’ Complete Count Committee.

Ask if you can help with any upcoming events or local outreach efforts. Find a Complete Count Committee near you!


Time is of the essence. Lets ensure everyone in Illinois counts in the 2020 Census! #ILCountMeIn2020 #MakeILCount

For more information about the 2020 Census, contact Yoselyn Ovalle, Forefront’s Associate Manager of the Democracy Initiative, at yovalle@myforefront.org.


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