HUMBOLDT PARK — Local leaders are throwing a big event in Humboldt Park Wednesday in a final push to get Latino residents counted as the census deadline approaches.
Dozens of public officials, from Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton to U.S. Rep Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, will join more than 30 community organizations at the event, which is set for 2-5 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Rebano Church, 2435 W. Division St.
Residents will be able to fill out the census at separate stations. Free meals, masks and dental check-ups will also be provided.
It’s the last census registration event on the “Our Heritage Counts Bus Tour” organized by community groups.
The official end of the census collection has bounced around in recent weeks. In August, the Census Bureau cut the deadline one month earlier than expected, but a federal judge overruled that.
On Monday, the Census Bureau tweeted that its collection would end Monday, but that deadline could also be challenged.
Across the country, census counts are lagging as the deadline approaches. In 2010, nearly 66 percent of Chicagoans took part in the 2010 Census. Currently, just under 60 percent of Chicagoans have filled out the census, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The U.S. Census Bureau uses the form to count the country’s entire population every decade as mandated by the constitution. The decennial count is important because it determines federal funding for education, child care, workforce training and health care across the state. It also determines the number of political representatives each state receives.
Earlier this year, Gov. JB Pritzker said the state risks losing $195 million per year for each 1 percent of the population that isn’t counted.
Illinois is also projected to lose at least one downstate congressional seat due to population loss.
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