As the deadline looms, Chicago census workers are trying desperately to avoid an undercount — but it hasn’t been easy.
Esther Yoon-Ji Kang
With less than a month to complete the census, the response in some Chicago-area communities lags far behind rates from the last census.
A coalition of groups is demanding that the Chicago City Council steer $1 billion in police funding toward services in underserved areas.
WBEZ spoke with the relatives of 50 Chicago COVID-19 victims to understand the systemic conditions behind the pandemic’s disproportionate impact.
“You got police officers that I watched with my own eyes pull people toward them just to beat them,” said activist Joseph Williams.
The winning proposal includes revitalizing a long-vacant office building and converting a brownfield into an urban farming campus.
Residents must now respond to the census by Sep. 30, but response rates in some parts of Chicago are less than half the national average.
Just under 55% of Chicagoans have responded to the census, compared to 62% nationally. In some areas, the response has been less than 30%.
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“If this were a fire or flood or hurricane, buildings and whole communities will be evacuated,” says a leader in a group pressing the governor to take emergency action.
Illinois has witnessed the steepest decline in Black population of any state since 2010. White population has fallen in Illinois by 6%.