By Rebecca Schejbal

The 2020 Census is here.

Soon you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape the future of Downers Grove Township. Be counted!

Taking part is our civic duty. It’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution and a vital way to participate in our democracy.

In March 2020, every household will receive an invitation in the mail to respond. You can respond securely online, by mail, or by phone. Regardless of how you respond, your personal information is protected by federal law. By law, all responses to U.S. Census surveys are kept completely confidential.

Why is it important to respond to the 2020 Census?

It’s about redistricting. Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts. State officials will use census data to redraw the boundaries of the Illinois congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts.

It’s about representation. The results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

It’s about funding. Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year for clinics, schools, roads, and more. Residents also use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.

Can I respond online?

Yes, at The 2020 Census marks the first time you will be invited to respond online. When you respond online, the website guides you through each question. The census form will be available in English and 12 additional languages (and guides are available in 59 languages). All responses submitted online are encrypted to protect personal privacy. Once responses are received, they are no longer online.

Is my information safe?

Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. Your personal information cannot be accessed by the police department, DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA.

Who is counted?

The 2020 Census counts every living person in the United States as of April 1 – no matter where they are from, why they are in the United States, and whether or not they are documented.

When can I respond?

In early 2020, every household in America will receive a notice to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that have yet to respond.

Why is there a question on race?

Responses to census questions provide a snapshot of the nation. The statistics will illustrate the nation’s changing racial diversity, as well as the size, growth, and geographic distribution of various racial population groups. The data will be used to monitor compliance with the anti-discrimination provisions of laws such as the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

Why is there a question about LGBTQ?

On the 2020 Census, you’ll have the option to identify a relationship as same-sex – informing community planning for families and providing vital statistics to advocates and policymakers who work on LGBTQ+ issues.

The U.S. Census Bureau is taking extra steps in 2020 to reach everyone.


Newborn babies and young children under five are often missed in the census. But census results help determine which areas qualify for the critical resources, including food assistance, Head Start, childcare, public schools, children’s health insurance and more. That’s why every child should be counted.


Census takers work with shelters, meal centers, group homes and other places where the homeless receive services to make sure everyone is counted. Many libraries and community centers have public computers available for homeless persons to respond online.

People with disabilities is a 508-compliant website accessible to people with blindness or low vision, deafness or hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, photosensitivity, and various combinations of these.

My fellow Democrats, I encourage you to take the following steps, to make sure there is an accurate census count in Downers Grove Township.

·        Distribute information about the 2020 Census on your social media accounts, in your newsletters, and on your websites.

·        Publicize the 2020 Census and encourage the public to respond.

·        Encourage your friends and neighbors to respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail. Remind them to count everyone living in their home even if they are not related.

·        Emphasize that the 2020 Census is safe and secure.

·        Correct misinformation or disinformation on social media accounts. You can report misinformation and disinformation at

The 2020 Census will influence funding for community services for the next 10 years. Census data will determine where billions of dollars are spent each year for libraries, community centers, Medicare/Medicaid, hospitals, and schools. Your community counts on you to respond to the 2020 Census.  Be Counted!