- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she’s sending a “Census Cowboy” to 10 communities with low 2020 Census response rates to encourage participation.
- In a video, the mayor compared this initiative with efforts made by the mayor of Gotham in “Batman.”
- The Census helps determine crucial funding and congressional representation.
- Lightfoot has a goal of a 75% response rate in Chicago; right now it’s at 55%.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a bizarre video announcement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that a “Census Cowboy” will now be going to the 10 communities in the city with the lowest Census completion rates to urge residents to fill out the form.
“Giddy up, Chicago. I’m calling on the Census Cowboy to help improve our Census response rates across Chicago. Make the Census Cowboy proud by filling out the Census today at my2020census.gov,” Lightfoot said in a tweet of the video.
—Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 13, 2020
Lightfoot started her speech by comparing Chicago to Gotham City from “Batman.”
“When I was a kid, I loved the “Batman” TV show. And when the city of Gotham had a real difficult challenge, one of the things the mayor there did is he called out and he sent out the distress signal to Batman. So, we are doing something similar for the census,” Lightfoot said.
Picking up and putting on a green cowboy hat, Lightfoot announced: “And I’m happy to report I’m calling out the Census Cowboy.”
A man dressed as a cowboy then came into the frame as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” played. Local outlet WLS-TV reported that the man is Adam Hollingsworth, who is known to ride his horse through the city and is known as Dreadhead Cowboy.
Lightfoot said that if residents see the Census Cowboy in their neighborhood, it’s “not a good thing,” and they need to “step up” and fill out the Census. The mayor added that the cowboy will be stopping by the 10 communities with the lowest response rate in the city.
The Census is taken every decade and helps determine important federal funding as well as congressional representation.
According to WLS-TV, the mayor reported that a little more than half of Chicagoans filled out the forms online, but the state of Illinois as a whole had a 66% response.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the response rate in some South and West side neighborhoods is less than 40%. Lightfoot is aiming for a 75% response rate across the city.
“Let’s do this Chicago. Let’s make the Census Cowboy proud,” Lightfoot said.