The 2020 Census is well underway. The massive undertaking of counting everyone living in the United States and five U.S. territories requires everyone’s participation. Over 75 million households have responded already. If your household has not responded, now is the time. Even if you received a paper questionnaire in the mail, you can still respond online at 2020census.gov.
Water sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes, say researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings. Water could have been bad for months or years in old hospital buildings that cities are reopening to accommodate a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. “We don’t design buildings to be shut down for months. This study focuses on the consequences and could help building owners make sure that their buildings are safe and operational when occupants return,” said Andrew Whelton, a Purdue associate professor of civil engineering and environmental and ecological engineering. The researchers began their study with funding by the National Science Foundation’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program. The study involves monitoring water quality in buildings both during a period of extended vacancy and when occupants have returned. Find a video describing this study at https://youtu.be/Myvlo7SKz2A.
Which families are most vulnerable to an income shock such as COVID-19? According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, households lacking at least two months’ income in “safe” or liquid assets, and those with high debt-to-income ratios, face the greatest risk of serious delinquency. Families with "convertible" wealth such as home equity are less likely to fall seriously behind on a debt obligation. According to the study, serious delinquency rates are chronically high for many of the families in the study. Accordingly, potential COVID-19 responses should keep the longer-term outcomes for these families in mind, especially if an economic contraction is deep and the recovery slow. The researchers encourage policymakers and others to promote economic resilience not only through cash payments and other liquidity measures, but also by helping to build family wealth among less-educated, younger and black and Hispanic Americans—who, as described in the Demographics of Wealth series and a Center blog post, consistently have lower levels of wealth.
Earlier this year, Illinois Extension partnered with the Illinois Office of Broadband to air a 4-part webinar series on the Connect Illinois broadband infrastructure grant program. The webinars covered the general overview and requirements of the grant, the application packet, the broadband map challenge process, and the budget template. This month, Illinois Extension, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and the Illinois Office of Broadband will offer another 4-part Developing Broadband Leadership Webinar Series at 11:30am on Wednesdays May 13, May 20, May 27, and June 3. The series is designed to show how communities are addressing short-term broadband connectivity issues while moving forward with longer-term solutions. After an introductory session to set the stage, the series describes the community-driven broadband development process. We then give a “Broadband 101” session before ending the series with an exploration of digital inclusion strategies. REGISTER HERE