The census helps determine where businesses locate, new schools are built, and how many members of Congress each state will have. And that's why the Doris and Victor Day Foundation in Rock Island is preparing for the 2020 census, even though it's still two years away.
The foundation will work with with non-profits, schools, and city and state officials to get the word out. Foundation Executive Director, Dave Geenen, says there are 600 billion federal dollars at stake.
"Every census counts and if you're talking about $1,700 per person that's tied to the census, you average that out over ten years, that's $17,000. That's a pretty big chunk of change that goes to direct services to the residents of our community."
Census data is used to draw federal, state, and local legislative districts; and also is used by the federal government to distribute funds for MediCare and MediCaid.
"We are a community and a community is made up of people and everyone matters. Regardless of your age, your race, your ethnicity, your gender idenity, you all matter and you make up this community and we want to make sure you are accounted for."
Geenen says this will be the first census where people can participate online. The Day Foundation will hold the first of several census events Thursday, September 13th at St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island.