Uber to contribute $100K toward boosting 2020 Census participation in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The city of Chicago is partnering with Uber to boost participation in the 2020 Census.

Uber is contributing $100,000 to local community organizations that are helping reach hard-to-count residents. Because this is the first year the census will be done electronically, Uber will also make its three Greenlight Hubs, or driver support centers, available for census counting.

Cook County leaders kicked off a series of meetings on the topic Tuesday.

An accurate count is important for Chicago as it determines funding that is instrumental to maintaining infrastructure, public safety, public health and other city services, city officials said in a news release. Mayor Lori Lightfoot invested $2.7 million in 2020 census efforts, which is the largest amount of funding Chicago has ever committed to the census, the release said. Lightfoot has a goal of 75% participation.

"From the beginning, we made it clear that the city's mobilization efforts would require coordination and partnership with Chicago's corporate, philanthropic and community organizations, which is why we are grateful Uber will help ensure all our residents are counted," Lightfoot said.

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Nearly half of Chicago's 2.7 million residents are considered "hard-to-count," officials said. This includes families of color, children under 5, the elderly, veterans, returning residents, individuals with high rates of mobility and housing instability, residents with disabilities, those with limited access to the Internet and those who may be afraid to participate.

To ensure the selection of community organizations was transparent, the city partnered with Forefront, a nonprofit and leader in preparing Illinois for the 2020 Census, in a Request for Proposal process, officials said. Those selected will receive grant funding, including Uber's contribution, that will help them with targeted neighborhood outreach and other initiatives to increase participation for historically-undercounted communities.

Visit census2020.chicago.gov for more information. The census begins April 1 and ends July 31.
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