The 2020 United States Census is upon us and I am asking all Riverside residents to embrace their civic duty to ensure a full and accurate count of every person residing in Riverside on April 1, 2020.

A complete count is important because the results of the 2020 Census will directly affect congressional representation and public funding for essential services. Every person not counted will cost Illinois $14,000 in lost federal funding. That means less funding for infrastructure needs, education, and public health and safety.

By April 1, 2020, every residence will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You can respond online, by phone or by mail. The 2020 Census marks the first time that people can respond online.

You do not have to be a citizen or a registered voter to count. If you live in Riverside you count! And after you have responded to the census please take the extra step to ensure your friends and family are counted. We especially need to make sure that young children, minorities, renters, and members of extended families are counted because they are often overlooked.

The data gathered by the Census Bureau is completely confidential and highly secure. It is illegal for the Census Bureau to provide any identifying information to any organization or governmental agency. Census data cannot be shared with immigration or law enforcement agencies and cannot be used to affect government benefits. Census data is used solely for statistical purposes.

The census is our opportunity to proclaim the basic American value that in the United States everybody counts. Please do your part to make sure Riverside gets its fullest count ever. For more information, please visit riverside.il.us/508/Census-2020.

Ben Sells, president

Village of Riverside