DuPage County officials are gearing up for the 2020 census.
The DuPage County County Board’s Complete Count committee will hold its first meeting Tuesday. U.S. Census Bureau representatives will be in attendance.
“We’re going to do our best to get an (accurate count of all our) constituents,” DuPage County Board Commissioner Sadia Cover, D-Naperville, said.
Population counts help determine federal funding levels for state, county and municipal projects and programs.
“Millions of dollars hinge on a complete count,” Cover said. “We need to have enough funding to take care of everyone …. that’s why it’s important to have a complete count.”
Tuesday’s meeting will be held at the auditorium of the DuPage County Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton. The meeting will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.
Covert, who co-chairs the Complete County committee, said the focus for the 25-member group, which includes county board members and community members representing a variety of ethnic and socio-economic groups, will be ensuring training is provided so all residents are counted.
That’s particularly important for the “hard-to-count” areas, such as minority groups, homeless residents or low-income households, she said. The committee plans to work to better coordinate the communities being counted with census takers of similar backgrounds.
“We’re planning on matching enumerators with communities so people (in the community) can see people who look like them, who speak their language and who can communicate with them on their level to assuage their fears,” Covert said.
Covert, who speaks multiple languages, said she plans on getting involved as well.
“We’re already connecting with communities and letting them know the census is going to happen,” she said.
The committee plans to address potential issues, such as possible questions about residency status, so census takers know how to handle them when they arise, Covert said. They also plan to work with municipalities throughout the county to coordinate census efforts.
Alicia Fabbre is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.