Join Mayor Ed Schock, former Chicago Bear Calvin Thomas and other community dignitaries as they help kick-off Elgin's Count Me In Census campaign Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 4 – 5 p.m. at the Gail Borden Public Library's community room, 270 N. Grove Ave. Elgin.
Mayor Schock will lead participants outside to the library’s north parking lot where dignitaries will hold the world's largest census form. Officials are attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the size of a legal document.
Organizations relying on population counts for grant dollars should attend the kick-off event while wearing organizational T-shirts.
The Census Bureau says the federal government allocates almost $400 billion in annual funding for critical community services and accurate population counts are paramount to ensure a community receives proper funding.
It's estimated that only 72% of Elgin residents were counted in 2000. Because the Census is completed only once every 10 years, a 72% count in 2010 would mean Elgin stands to lose more than $350 million over the next 10 years.
The City of Elgin and Gail Borden Public Library District are committed to the census campaign. The Gail Borden Public Library District was recently awarded a grant from the Count Me In Illinois 2010 Census Initiative to conduct a public education campaign to boost participation in hard-to-count communities. The Grand Victoria Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and a number of other funders pooled resources to create the Illinois Count Me In grants. The library has also agreed to serve as the liaison and work closely with the City of Elgin for the U. S. Census Bureau’s Elgin Complete Count Committee.
The Count Me in Illinois message is simple – being counted makes a difference to the future of this community:
1. An accurate count brings financial support for services in the community
2. An accurate count can bring jobs to the community
3. An accurate count impacts democratic representation
4. By law, the census information is not shared with anyone, including federal, state and local agencies.
Federal money is distributed on a population basis. In 2008 alone, more than $12 billion program dollars were distributed to grantees in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
An increase in Elgin's population will result in additional per capita revenues from the State of Illinois from income, local use, and motor fuel taxes. It is estimated that the City receives about $120 per person annually and uses that funding for everything from safety personnel to street improvements.
The library as well as many local organizations also receive annual funding based on population numbers.
Call Denise Raleigh, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Gail Borden Public Library, at (847) 742-2411 or Sue Olafson, The City of Elgin's Public Information Officer, at (847) 931-5601 for more information.