The Census Bureau announced that census data collection will be complete by September 30, 2020. This is one month earlier than the previous deadline and presents new worries that our state will be undercounted and, subsequently, lose federal funding. If all Illinoisans are not counted during the 2020 Census, fewer federal resources will come back to our state. You can respond by mail, by phone, or online using your smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. At 2020Census.gov, click on the Green Respond button to Start the Questionnaire. If you do not respond by early August, an official census taker will knock on your door and offer assistance in completing your 2020 Census. All 2020 Census responses are kept confidential and private. It’s the law. Your responses cannot be shared and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way. “Whether you respond by mail, by phone, online or with the assistance of a census taker, your response matters. Please be counted, to ensure your community, county and state have adequate representation, funding and data to support decision making for the next decade,” said Susan Odum, University of Illinois Extension.
Headquartered in East Moline, Illinois, Living Lands & Waters is a 501 (c)(3) environmental organization that was established by Chad Pregracke in 1998. Since the organization was founded, Living Lands & Waters has grown to be the only “industrial strength” river cleanup organization like it in the world. Spending up to nine months a year living and traveling on the barge, the Living Lands & Waters crew hosts river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other key conservation efforts. Since 1998, the Living Lands & Waters crews have worked on 24 rivers in 21 states and, with the help of more than 115,000 volunteers, to remove 10.5 million pounds of debris from U.S. waterways. “On a big picture scale, my team of 13 people and I, we really are making a difference. We’ve had over 117,000 people come out and help us clean up, then those same people will often continue to keep the areas clean themselves once we’re gone,” said founder Chad Pregracke.
Every day we do things that keep us safe, like buckling a seat belt or putting on a bike helmet. But if we forget, or don’t do them (even once), we put ourselves and others at risk. A mask is no different. It only works if you wear it. So always wear a mask when you’re out in public to protect yourself and others. We’re all safer and stronger when we go all in, Illinois.