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Civic Engagement and Policy Involvement

City Workforce Diversity

Issue:  Disparity in hiring practices of female/minority residents.  According to the latest U.S. Census, Springfield has a population of 24.2% minority and 52.8% female.  In 2014 Faith Coalition for the Common Good filed a FOIA request and discovered that the most recent city audit showed the city workforce was 8.6% minority and 20.3% female.

Response:  At the urging of Faith Coaliton and other interested parties, in 2014 the city passed an ordinance requiring participation of minority owned business on every project which is let by the city. On-going discussions are taking place with our newly elected mayor and city council regarding increasing minority/female hiring. 

City Residency Ordinance

Issue:  More than 30 percent Springfield city workers do not have Springfield addresses, and some municipal employees commute as far as 80 miles to work in the city.

Response: Civic Engagement task force leaders engaged with the mayor and city council members, advocating for a city residency ordinance. Such an ordinance would require people who work for the city to live in the city, thereby diversifying the city's workforce and giving low income people of color a better opportunity at competing for and gaining city employment.  

Integrated Voter Engagement and Voter Registration

Issue:  Typical Get out the Vote campaigns are short-termed, focused on getting people to the polls during a specific election cycle.  

Response:  Faith Coalition for the Common Good is committed to voter registration, voter education and voter turnout at the polls.  In the past Faith Coaliton leaders have been engaged in Get Out the Vote campaigns in local, state and national election cycles.  In June 2016 the national Gamaliel advanced leadership training attended by Faith Coaliton leaders focused on the nonpartisan Integrated Voter Engagement process.  Integrated voter engagement is a strategy that strives to engage communities to participate not only in the elections, but in organizing and advocacy work between elections as well. It emphasizes leadership development and increasingly includes the use of technology to reach and educate communities about issues that affect them and engage them in the solutions.  At its core, integrated voter engagement is about educating communities and engaging individuals to participate regularly in the processes of democracy.

2020 Census

Issue: The Census determines how much federal funding and congressional representation the state and residents of Illinois receive - and undercount would have serious ramifications.

Response: The Faith Coalition for the Common Good, in partnership with the US Census Bureau and the City of Springfield, are working to ensure that our hard to count communities are counted.  Hard to count communities include low income families, minorities, immigrants, small children, homeless persons and the elderly.
Pledge to fill out the 2020 Census at

UPDATE October 28, 2020:

FCCG received a state grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to help educate the hard to count communities, in Morgan County (Jacksonville), Sangamon County (Springfield), and Macon County (Decatur), on the importance of the Census and how to fill it out. Making sure that everyone is counted is extremely important because census numbers determine the amount of funding which comes into a community for after school programs, hot lunch programs, senior services, SNAP benefits and much more.  In addition, census numbers determine the number of congressional representatives for each state.

FCCG partnered with local officials, faith communities, social service providers, and businesses to distribute Census information. We provided jobs for 35 people throughout the 3 counties.  Many of those who worked for us did peer to peer phone-banking and door to door distribution of materials in their neighborhoods.  A total of 10,000 door hangers were distributed and over 22,000 people were called by phone.  COVID-19 made it challenging to reach citizens but because of our efforts, we were successful in increasing the number of residents in the hard to county communities who filled out the 2020 Census.

Faith Coalition mentioned in NPR IL story

NPR Illinois focuses on the 2020 Census and the fear that may keep foreign-born people from registering in Beardstown, IL. The story talks about trusted messengers being needed to send the message that it's safe to participate. Mistrust and lack of broadband access are cited as factors that may limit full participation. The Faith Coalition will begin census outreach with visits in September in Beardstown, Decatur and Springfield.

Read the full story at

US Census Bureau - Pledge to fill out the 2020 Census at

More videos about the U.S. Census: