During these disturbing times, it is difficult to imagine what it will be like to gather again in worship, celebration, and bereavement. While that future remains elusive, the need for strong communities, good schools, safe roads, and fair representation will remain the same. The results of Census 2020 will indeed shape our future. 

Think of your community: Census results help determine how money is allocated to prevent child abuse and to provide housing assistance for older adults, to show where schools, clinics, food assistance, and community mental health services are needed, to fund libraries. Business owners will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. 

Think of your local schools: Census results help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program, school lunches, grants that support teachers, and for special education.

Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems.

Think of your government: The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

While these are unpreceded times, it is more important than ever that we do our part to ensure a fair census count so that when this is behind us, whatever that may look like, Illinois will have the resources needed to strengthen and rebuild our state. 

If you haven’t done so, please take a few moments to complete the census. You can respond in English by calling 844-330-2020 or in Spanish by calling 844-468-2020; to respond online or for help in other languages, go to https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html.

Stay safe, stay strong and please be counted! 

Beverly Graham

President, League of Women Voters OP-RF