As promotional and outreach activities are ramping up across the nation ahead of the 2020 Census, the City of Belleville want to help ensure all residents in the city get counted.
As part of its outreach initiatives, the city established a Complete Count Committee, a diverse group of community representatives who were selected as trusted voices, representing various constituencies throughout the City of Belleville.
“The Complete Count Committee brings together a cross-section of community members who will utilize their local knowledge and expertise to reach out to all persons in our community,” said Mayor Mark Eckert.
Eckert said that the committee is set to deploy a comprehensive communication and community outreach campaign at the top of 2020 to ensure that every person who resides in Belleville has the resources and knowledge to get counted.
According to the Illinois Municipal Review’s Sept. 2019 revenue estimates, the forecasted total of state-shared local government tax-revenue is $164.40 per person. For the city the size of Belleville, that calculates to approximately $7 million.
“An accurate and complete census count is important to the City of Belleville in determining federal dollars for healthcare, education, transportation, child and elder care, emergency preparation and response, and public and social health programs,” said Eckert. “The city receives a large portion of our general fund revenues from the state based on population, including State Income Tax and State Use Tax, which support general operations of the city, including public works departments. The city also receives Motor Fuel Tax based on population, which is used for infrastructure maintenance and repairs throughout the city.”
Throughout the month of March, the Census Bureau is sending each residence in the City of Belleville and beyong a request to participate in the census. People may respond by mail, phone, or for the first time in the history of the census, online. Those residents who do not respond by the end of April will be contacted in-person by a Census Bureau enumerator to complete the count. The Census Bureau conducts special counts for those populations living in group home settings or those experiencing homelessness.
“It’s extremely important to know that the data you provide to the Census Bureau is kept completely confidential,” said Eckert. “The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to ensure the safety of the data; they don’t share information with law enforcement or other governmental entities. The main goals are to ensure everyone is counted and everyone’s personal information is kept safe in that process.”
The city will host various town hall meetings to address questions regarding the census in addition to hosting open census days at the public libraries and other key locations throughout Belleville to assist people in getting counted.
Members of the Complete Count Committee include: Joel Glasscock, City of Belleville; Jennifer Ferguson, City of Belleville; Annissa McCaskill, City of Belleville; Johnnie Anthony, Alderman of Ward 4; Dr. Ryan Boike, Belleville School District 118; Kevin Bouse, Crime Free Housing Committee; Gloria Crowder, Friends of 17th Street Neighborhood Corridor, Deacon Douglas Boyer, Diocese of Belleville; Cheryl Biver Brunsmann, Southwestern Illinois College-Programs and Services for Older Persons; Kurt Daesch, St. Clair County Veteran’s Assistance; Dr. Jeff Dosier, Belleville School District 201; Randy Elser, Metro East Pride Southern Illinois; Scott Ferguson, Alderman Ward 3 and St. Matthew United Methodist Church; Lennox Forrester, Downtown Belleville YMCA- Kern Center; Christine Green, Belleville Office of General and Community Assistance; Kinsey Mordini, Avenue Realty; Wendy Pfeil, Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce; Mike Todd, SW Illinois Laborers’ District Council; Jim Young, Interfaith Food Pantry, Leslie Wagner, Southwestern Illinois College-ESL; Ada Jimenez, Office of Hispanic Ministry Belleville Diocese; and Aretha Lumas, Racial Harmony.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years for the purposes of reapportioning Congress. Census data is also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.
For more information, visit https://www.belleville.net/census.