Windy City’s Census Effort
May 15, 2000
Chicago City Census
Coordinator Don Davis, Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th) and representatives
from local social agencies and businesses on April 20th, unveiled a new
Public Service Announcement (PSA) in English and Spanish featuring Mayor
Richard M. Daley urging all Chicagoans to respond and cooperate with Census
2000 enumerators who will be sent to homes of people that did not return
their Census forms.
Tapes of the public
service announcement have been sent to local television stations accompanied
by a letter from the Mayor appealing to each station to help promote Census
"I am appealing to all
television stations in the area to run the PSA frequently and help promote
the Census on your broadcast," said the Mayor." If we are to be
successful, we need the assistance of the media.
"If we cannot
communicate this message to our citizens, your viewers, we stand to lose
hundreds of millions of dollars in State and Federal funds that are returned
to cities based on Census data," he added.
Mayor Daley has
called on residents, elected officials and local businesses to step up their
efforts and share in the responsibility to make sure Chicago has an accurate
The Mayor asked aldermen
to work as emissaries in their communities, reinforcing the importance of
responding to the Census and encouraging cooperation during the next phase
of Census data collection.
As part of Census
Awareness Day at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox Organization will be
running the Mayor's PSA on the center field Jumbotron. WGN-TV will also be
interviewing City officials at the park during the game's broadcast.
At the end of April, the
U.S. Census Bureau sent 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 determined
state legislative and congressional representation.
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. This 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.
According to Price
Waterhouse Coopers, the City will lose $3,391 for every person that is not
counted in the 2000 Census. If a similar undercount like the one in 1990
occurs again, Chicago stands to lose more than half a billion dollars in
"The message is clear,"
said the Mayor, "Count yourself and your family, and spread the word to
friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. We all have a
responsibility to help Chicago and its people get a fair shake this year."