The mayor held up a census form as he stressed that the information people disclose is kept confidential. He noted that much federal aid is based on population and said everyone, including children and non-citizens, must be counted.
"If the data is not correct, Chicago will be shortchanged, not for one year, but for 10 years," the mayor said. "You'll be shortchanged. Education, public safety, transportation, community development, all types of social services. We will be shortchanged."
The kickoff was in the Humboldt Park branch library, one of 30 library branches with questionnaire assistance centers. Census workers will be in those branches to answer questions.