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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

North Side Officials Seek To ‘Drag’ Up Census Response With Drag Queen-Led Rally

Census participation helps determine federal funding for critical services including education, child care, workforce training and health care.

Drag Queen performer Circuit Mom will perform at a virtual census rally held by North Side politicians.
Facebook/CircuitMom
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UPTOWN — Drag queen CircuitMom will perform during a virtual rally to boost census participation on the North Side.

State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz is teaming up with Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Michele Smith (43rd) for the rally at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The officials will discuss with neighbors ways to support the community during the coronavirus pandemic, including ways to boost census participation.

“COVID-19 has been devastating for our constituents,” Feigenholtz said in a statement. “An undercount in the census can result in losses in critical funding that our communities need. We will not let that happen.”

The event will also include a performance from CircuitMom, the drag alter ego of night life producer Matthew Harvat.

Census participation helps determine federal funding for critical services including education, child care, workforce training and health care. The state risks losing $195 million per year for each 1 percent of the population undercounted.

Illinois could also lose two congressional seats to census-based redistricting.

“We are living in a real-time crisis experience, which is exactly why we need to all be counted in the census.” Cappleman said in a statement. “The stay at home order makes it even more difficult to ensure we get an accurate count.”

A number of North Side neighborhoods, including Cappleman’s Uptown and Smith’s Lincoln Park, have some of the highest census response rates in the city. But both communities still have a ways to go to reach participation benchmarks.

In the 46th Ward, comprising Uptown and portions of Lakeview, 58 percent of households have completed the census, the latest city data shows. The ward’s target response rate is 77 percent.

In the 43rd Ward, which includes Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, and Old Town, about 56 percent of households have responded to the census. The goal for that ward is 81.1 percent participation.

To RSVP to the census rally, click here.

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