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Shortened deadline sparks increased efforts by south suburban census advocates

As Americans face a shortened deadline for completing the U.S. Census, Southland teens, community organizations and elected officials are working to boost response rates as they worry about increased risk of significant undercounting that would hurt communities in need.

After it temporarily suspended 2020 Census field data collection activities in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau unveiled a plan in April to seek congressional authorization to end counting on Oct. 31. But last week the bureau announced it will end counting Sept. 30.

The changed deadline is a huge concern, said Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward (in photo), who is president of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and president of the Southland Regional Mayoral Black Caucus. With the Illinois response rate at 68% as of last week and the national rate at 63.2%, “We are hardly where we want to be,” he said…Please click here to read Francine Knowles’ column in the Tribune/Daily Southtown.

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