Minority leaders encourage all Rockfordians to complete census survey

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - 2020 census questionnaires will go out soon, but studies show many people may not fill them out worried that their answers could be used against them.

"Your count, your numbers count they do," said Joyce Higgins, The African American Resource Center at Booker Washington Center Executive Director.

"We need to make sure not just the Latinos or the African Americans community. But all be included," said Mary Lou Castro, LULAC of Rockford President

Rockford minority leaders believe every Rockfordian should be counted in the 2020 census data, but a survey released by the NALEO Educational Fund shows 75% of Latinos fear the Trump Administration will use census data against them.

"He wanted to put the citizenship question on the questionnaire and I think that scared a lot of the community, Castro said.

The citizenship question was struck down by the courts and 2020census.gov wants to assure the community that by law, responses cannot be used against you.

"There are just numbers, it's not like your DNA," Higgins said.

Higgins says census data is important for federal funding needs.

"There is $675 billion on the table,” Higgins said.

Higgens oversees the African American Resource Center at Booker Washington Center and she says that organization survives on those dollars.

"We get state of Illinois dollars and we get other organizations' dollars like United Way and Community of Northern Illinois,” Higgins said.

"It's important that everybody gets counted in order to get the funding everybody needs," Castro said.

On March 9 an informational forum will be held at the Booker Washington Community Center to answer any questions about the 2020 census survey.