US Mayor Article

Chicago Continues To Push For Greater Response In Census Mayor Daley Asks Aldermen To Encourage Cooperation

May 15, 2000


Joined by Regional Census Director Stanley Moore, Mayor Richard M. Daley on April 15, asked aldermen to work as emissaries in their communities, reinforcing the importance of responding to the 2000 Census and encouraging cooperation during the next phase of Census 2000.

"We still have time to make sure that all Chicagoans count in this Census," the Mayor said at a meeting at Davis Square park, 4430 S. Marshfield Avenue "Our City stands to lose valuable resources if we are undercounted. Those who have not yet filled out their Census forms can still make a difference in their communities by sending in their forms and also by cooperating with enumerators when they come knocking on doors later this month."

The U.S. Census Bureau will be tabulating mail responses until the end of April, when it sends out thousands of enumerators to homes that have not returned their census forms. It is critical to the City that residents cooperate with enumerators to avoid another undercount like the one in 1990, when the city lost more than $200 million in federal and state aid that is distributed on the basis of census data Census numbers also determine state legislative and congressional representation.

"The people who will be doing the count for Census 2000 are an extremely important part of the process," the Mayor said. "An accurate count of the city's population translates into dollars, jobs and services for Chicago's communities for the next 10 years."

Moore added: "We still need workers in every community to ensure an accurate count. We are entering another important phase of this civic endeavor and are striving to make sure that everyone counts in the first census of the new millennium."

The first winners of $1,000 prizes in the City's Census giveaway program also attended the news conference. Their homes were picked at random for displaying some of the newly 2 million posters that the City has distributed in cooperation with the Chicago Sun-Times, community and ethnic newspapers.

Nearly 40 winners are yet to be named. The contest will run until winners are identified for all 50 wards. Posters are still available at City Hall and public libraries throughout Chicago.

To further encourage a complete count, the City sponsored an enumerator rally on April 18th. Enumerators went into the field to count those who have not mailed in their census forms. Hundreds of census enumerators were expected to attend the rally at the Windy City Field House, where of the U.S. Census Director Kenneth Prewitt was expected to rally the workers.

Those who have not received a census form can obtain one at libraries, post offices, currency exchanges and aldermanic offices. Or they can call the Census Bureau at 1-800-471-9424; in Spanish, 1-800-471-8642.

Chicago officials estimate that more than 159,000 residents were not counted in the 1990 Census, resulting in the loss of more than $200 million in state and federal aid that is distributed on the basis of population. That is enough money to build two new high schools and two new elementary schools and renovate 100 more; or build 44 new branch libraries; or resurface over 1,600 miles of residential streets - almost two-thirds of all those in Chicago.

The Chicago Transit Authority estimates it lost nearly $10 million because of the undercount, or over $60 for each person who was not counted.

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