The Institute for Positive Living offered free cream and census completion recognition to senior residents at the Lawless Gardens apartment complex in Bronzeville on Sunday. In addition, free plants were offered as a re-dedication to its Peace Planter Program, an anti-violence initiative.
The seniors were encouraged to share information about the importance of the census and voter registration with family members and other seniors.
“Each one has got to reach one,” said resident Payton Shanks boasting a Black Lives Matter t-shirt. “The census impacts the full scheme of things and helps people better themselves from children to senior citizens.”
The 2020 census ensures funding of housing, nutrition, education, transportation, and healthcare programs that seniors and others need. It also determines voting districts based on an accurate and complete population count based on census data. Failure to fill out and return the census form could mean a huge loss for some communities.
“Seniors are a huge stable voting block. If we are not counted, we show up as nonexistent,” says Elger Jeffers former 46th District representative who registers seniors to vote at the Lawless Gardens apt. complex in Bronzeville.
“Not being counted means Illinois could lose congressional seats which means less federal money for the state to pay for needed social service programs and services that benefit seniors.” Based on projected population shifts, Illinois stands to loos at least one congressional seat making it more important for seniors to complete the census to help save that seat.
With her ice cream cone melting in the heat of the summer sun, Jeffers said the upcoming election is critical. “Take your soul to the poll on election day and vote like your soul depends on it because the country’s future is at stake.”
The census can be completed online, by phone or mail and must b returned by September 30. For complete information and to complete the 2020 census visit: 2020census.gov.
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Rev. Marrice Coverson, Founder and CEO, Institute for Positive Living served sandwiches and offered peace plants to attendees during Sunday’s ice cream social at Lawless Gardens apt.complex in Bronzeville.
Payton Shanks, Lawless Gardens resident at Institute for Positive Living Ice Cream Social
Elger Jeffers, Lawless Gardens resident and voter registration coordinator for seniors.