Belt to give out school supplies, host census drive to encourage residents to get counted

Published: Friday, September 11, 2020 10:47 AM

census 081120EAST ST. LOUIS – As the deadline to complete the 2020 census quickly approaches, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) is hosting a school supplies giveaway and census drive on Saturday, Sept 12, to help more families get counted.   

"Residents in the community need to understand the amount of resources and federal funding that are put at risk if they are not counted," Belt said. "This is the last month to fill out the 2020 Census and it’s important every person is counted. I hope families come out to receive school supplies for the upcoming semester and also get counted to ensure we have all the funding we need for the next 10 years."

Belt is hosting a free mask and school giveaway with Representative Latoya Greenwood. Parents will be able to pick up school supplies for their children, receive help filling out their census forms and registering to vote. The event will be held at East St. Louis Senior High School Parking Lot, located at 4901 State Street from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. 

The deadline to complete the 2020 census is Sept.30, and many Metro East communities response rates are critically low. The response rate in East St. Louis is 45%, Venice 43.9%, Washington Park 32.5% and Brooklyn only 39.8%. Census data determines federal funding for many community resources. 

To increase those  response rates, Belt is also hosting a Census Drive at Saint Mark School, located at 502 Broadway in Venice, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Families who are unable to attend either event can still get counted by filling out the form at

Castro urges census completion, cites area response rates

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020 04:29 PM

census responder 091020ELGIN – With the Sept. 30 conclusion of the 2020 Census looming, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is urging local residents to complete their household surveys in order to produce the most accurate count possible.

“The response rate data we have is a good sign, but there is always room for improvement,” Castro said. “With the 2020 Census cut short by a full month, the next few weeks will be crucial to ensuring that our communities get the full amount of funding and representation to which they are entitled, which the census determines.”

According to the official census website, as of Sept. 10 the response rates for cities in the area are:

  • Barrington Hills – 70.9%
  • Bartlett – 85.5%
  • Carpentersville – 75.6%
  • East Dundee – 81.4%
  • Elgin – 72.8%
  • Hanover Park – 76.9%
  • Hoffman Estates – 81.0%
  • Schaumburg – 79.3%
  • South Elgin – 80.3%
  • Streamwood – 82.1%

“These numbers are encouraging, but we should continue to keep working until they’re all at 100,” Castro said.

The census can be completed online, by phone or by mail.

Bush on World Suicide Prevention Day: Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Every life matters.

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020 04:14 PM

therapy group 091020GRAYSLAKE – This year alone, 55 Lake County residents have lost their lives to suicide. Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is showing her support for those struggling and reminding everyone that help is available.

“Even one life lost to suicide is too many,” Bush said. “There are many great resources available to Lake County residents that can help them when they feel down. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Every life matters.”

The Lake County Health Department offers a free Crisis Care Program. The confidential hotline, available at 1-847-377-8088, can help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse. Counselors are also available in person at 3002 Grand Lake Ave. in Waukegan. Anyone who needs help can call or walk in, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Help is extended to every resident of Lake County – no matter their age. Kids who are struggling are encouraged to download the “Lake County Help” app to their smartphone, which they can use to text anonymously with a licensed clinician.

Additionally, any Lake County resident who needs assistance finding mental health or substance abuse treatment, as well as food, shelter, rent or utility assistance can call 211 or text their zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help.

“The best way we can help others through their hardships is to support them and let them know we are here for them,” Bush said. “I encourage everyone to learn the signs of suicide and reach out to your friends and family who might need a little extra love.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also offers a number of resources to help people in crisis or those worried about a friend or family member. The lifeline offers 24/7 confidential support at 1-800-273-8255. Bush also encourages everyone to learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide so they can help their loved ones. For more information, click here.

Stadelman is joined by governor and local leaders to announce job training program funding

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020 03:38 PM

stadelman 091020ROCKFORD - With Illinois continuing to face an unprecedented public health emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was joined by Governor J.B. Pritzker, Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara and Dr. Lisa M. Bly-Jones, Executive Director of Workforce Connection today to discuss investments to expand job opportunities in the City of Rockford.  

"The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting jobs and changing the skills employees need to do them,” Stadelman said. “To meet this challenge, state government and its partners need to step up to help ensure workers are equipped with the skills critical to our economic recovery.”

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