Democracy Initiative

$19 billion in federal funding comes to Illinois each year in dollars which are allocated by U.S. Census data. This critical funding supports vital programs like Medicaid, highway infrastructure, and programs that aid low-income households, rural communities, and communities of color. If Illinoisans are undercounted during the 2020 Census, fewer resources will come to the state. Additionally, since congressional seats are determined by Census data, an undercount will also have serious political ramifications.

Our Vision: To keep $190 Billion (over ten years) of federal funds flowing into Illinois and unleash a new political power base that will result in a historically high voter turnout in the 2018 and 2020 elections and ensure a more fair and accurate count of Illinois’ population, allowing for necessary federal funding to flow to the state.

Goals: Enlist, educate, and train hundreds of nonprofit leaders and legislators across Illinois to encourage their constituents to participate in the 2020 Census, register and turn out to vote, and remain civically engaged.

This three-year initiative will unite, educate, and mobilize hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago and rural Illinois to accomplish two goals: 

  1. Ensure that Illinoisans get counted for Census 2020, especially 'at-risk' communities including immigrants, people of color, young children, rural, and low-income households; and,
  2. Register 5,000 voters from traditionally underrepresented communities and encourage high voter turnout for the 2018 and 2020 elections

To learn more and to get engaged with Forefront's Democracy Initiative, contact Anita Banerji at



Forefront Announces New Democracy Initiative

Census 2020 resources and toolkit

RFP: Mini-grants for Nonprofit Voter Engagement (application closed June 15)

Voter Engagement Toolkit for Foundations

Engaging New Voters