A Maywood lawmaker was recently appointed to a key statewide entity created to ensure that “hard-to-count” communities in Illinois are accurately surveyed in the 2020 U.S. Census.

State Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford was appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to the newly formed Census Advisory Panel.

The panel is the result of Executive Order 19-10, which the governor signed on June 20. Along with establishing the advisory panel, the order also establishes a new Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The Census Office will administer $29 million earmarked in the state budget to “prepare and execute the census in Illinois,” the governor said.

The advisory panel, which is comprised of 12 members, will be responsible for ensuring that funding opportunity notices and other communications related to the census are widely distributed, particularly in hard-to-count and undercounted areas.

“The commitment to executing the census in Illinois is vital, as it directly correlates with the amount of representation and federal resources our state will receive,” said Lightford, who was also appointed to the Cook County Complete Count Census Commission.

“It is our constitutional duty to ensure that every resident from Cook County to Alexander County is counted,” she said.

The governor’s executive order comes as many hard-to-count communities in the state have started to explore ways of making sure that their residents are accurately counted in the upcoming census.

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