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

The 2020 Census self-response period ends on October 31, 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: Encourage your staff to fill out the Census during a Census At Work Day of Action.

Pick a weekday to set aside 10 minutes 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 from our September 10 Census at Work Day that are still relevant and 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. Our two final social media pushes will be on Wednesday, October 14, and October 28 – stay tuned for our toolkits to access pre-drafted social media messaging!

 

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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