Mayor Emanuel Announces the Creation of Chicago's 2020 Complete Count Committee

April 1, 2019
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today established the City of Chicago’s Complete Count Committee to ensure every resident is accounted for in the 2020 U.S. Census. The committee is tasked with creating a strategy to ensure an accurate and complete count of Chicago’s population with a particular focus on hard-to-count populations, including African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, immigrants and non-native English speakers, homeless individuals, children under age five and the elderly.
“An accurate census not only ensures a fair share of federal funds and honest congressional representation, but it gives the City guidance on how to best deliver vital services that residents expect,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The census is a blueprint for our city’s future, meaning it is essential everyone who calls Chicago home is counted.”
In Chicago, 34 percent of households did not mail back their 2010 Census questionnaire, and therefore required the Census Bureau to conduct an in-person follow-up. Approximately 48 percent of Chicago’s population lives in hard-to-count neighborhoods. Immigrants account for 20.8 percent of Chicago’s population, and in 2014, an estimated 425,000 undocumented immigrants lived in the Chicago metro area. Additionally, the 2020 Census will be the first decennial census inviting the majority of residents to submit their questionnaire online, which is expected to ease the process for many households, but may present additionally challenges in hard-to-count communities.
Committee members represent diverse civic, cultural and community organizations from across Chicago. An initial steering committee of 27 members will work to analyze previous census data and recommend strategies to ensure a full count when the census begins on April 1, 2020. This group is expected to grow over the following year to ensure robust advocacy toward a fair and accurate count, as well as the protection of residents. The committee will also leverage the participation of City departments and sister agencies, building upon their presence in the community and relationships with frontline organizations.
To lead this effort, Mayor Emanuel has named six committee co-chairs: 
  • Ric Estrada, CEO of Metropolitan Family Services 
  • Rebecca Shi, Executive Director of Business Immigration Coalition 
  • Andrea Zopp, President and CEO of World Business Chicago 
  • Alderman Carrie Austin, Chairman of Committee on Budget and Government Operations
  • Alderman Roderick Sawyer, Chairman of the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus
  • Alderman Gilbert Villegas, Chairman of the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus 
“Far too often, the most likely individuals to be undercounted are people of color and people in poverty,” said Alderman Roderick Sawyer. “The census helps local leaders determine the size of our classrooms, the locations of parks and playgrounds, where businesses open and expand and much more.”
“Despite efforts across the country to suppress an accurate census, Chicago is steadfast in our mission to guarantee full participation in this process,” said Alderman Gilbert Villegas. “This committee is essential to safeguard the fundamental rights of Chicago’s residents.” 
The United States Constitution requires a decennial census of all residents. The census collects details on the entire country’s population. This information is used to determine representation in Congress; distribute $675 billion in federal funds each year; and allocate resources for job creation, housing, infrastructure and more. 
Residents will need to have completed their census questionnaires by April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau anticipates hiring at least 23,000 individuals in Chicago and more than 300,000 across the Midwest region to assist with executing the decennial census. Anyone interested in applying for jobs with the Census Bureau can go to
Below is full list of committee members:
  • Dr. Reginald E. Bachus, Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church
  • Anita Banerji, Director, Democracy Initiative, Forefront + Illinois Count Me In 2020 Funders’ Collaborative  
  • Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  
  • Evelyn Diaz, President, Heartland Alliance  
  • Victor Dickson, President & CEO, Safer Foundation   
  • Joseph Dominguez, CEO, ComEd 
  • Daisy Feidt, Executive Vice President, Access Living 
  • Meghan Harte, CEO, LISC 
  • Adam Hecktman, Director of Civic Technology and Civic Innovation, Microsoft 
  • Jack Lavin, President and CEO of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce  
  • Barbara Lumpkin, Interim President & CEO, Chicago Urban League 
  • Paul Luu, Executive Director at Chinese American Service League  
  • Craig Maki, Chief Executive Officer, Asian Human Services 
  • David Munar, President & CEO, Howard Brown Health 
  • Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership 
  • Cristina Pacione Zayas, Co-Chair, Puerto Rican Agenda 
  • Nabeela Rasheed, Section Head of Intellectual Property, AbbVie  
  • Dr. Michael Runnels, Reverend, Greater Metropolitan Missionary Baptist 
  • Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless  
  • Maria Whelan, President and CEO, Illinois Action for Children 
  • Griselda Vega Samuel, Midwest Regional Counsel, MALDEF

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