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Building Awareness for 2020 Census

Illinois and the Quad Cities have a lot riding on next year’s census. That was the message Friday in Rock Island from a panel of leaders from education and social service agencies.

Mark Klaisner is president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. He says because so much federal money is allocated based on population, the state cannot afford to let the census miss anyone, and children are the most likely group to be missed.

Credit WVIK News
(l to r) Zenaida Landeros, QC Hispanic Chamber, Tammy Muerhoff, RI County Reg. Supt of Schools, Marcy Mendenhall, Skip-a-Long Early Childcare, Mark Klaisner, Pres. Il. Assoc Reg. Supts. of Schools.

"If that number is $1,700 a person, and there's a hundred people not counted, and you take that times ten years, it's a huge amount of money."

He thinks schools can play an important role in insuring a fair and accurate count.

"Schools tend to be very safe places and people may feel safer to fill out their census survey at a school computer lab, or during parent-teacher night, or as a polling place."

Kathleen Bailey, president of the Rock Island County League of Women Voters says we only have one chance to get it right, and we’ll have to live with the consequences for the next ten years. 

Counting for the 2020 Census will begin officially on April 1st. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.