By Patrick Forrest
Mayor Lori Lightfoot gave updates on the Coronavirus in the city of Chicago as well as ongoing efforts to get as many people as possible to respond to the 2020 Census. The mayor pushed the Census initiative by introducing the city to the newest member of her arsenal, the Census Cowboy.
“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 that the mayor there did is he called out and he sent out a distress signal to Batman,” Lightfoot said. “So, we are doing something similar for the Census. And I’m happy to report I’m calling out the Census Cowboy.”
Previously known by his persona of the Dreadhead Cowboy, Adam Hollingsworth, a 33-year-old Woodlawn resident, has been an internet sensation already. “You’ve never seen a horse in the ‘hood,” he said. “You could be the brokest guy in the world, but you pull up on a horse in the Black community and everyone thinks you’re rich.” His ability to stand out in the city could potentially make him the perfect symbol of a reminder to complete the once-in-a-decade survey.
“So, if you see the Census Cowboy come into your neighborhood, that’s not a good thing,” Lightfoot said. “That means you got to step up and do your part and make sure that you fill out the census.”
This year, Mayor Lightfoot has set a goal of 75 percent participation to ensure every Chicagoan is counted and that they feel safe participating. Due to the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the response deadline has been extended until mid-August.
Mayor Lightfoot also gave a strong warning on the potential for additional shutdowns if businesses do not follow the rules regarding reopening of the city.
“In Chicago, we continue to be on a good trajectory. However, we do have concerns and we specifically have concerns in the 18-to-29-year-old cohort where we’re starting to see an uptick in cases,” she said, while floating the possibility of returning many local bars and restaurants to lock-down status. “I am deeply concerned because we’re starting to see this uptick. We’re starting to see an uptick in the number of daily cases, [but] deaths are going down, which is great.”
The concerns are not nearly at the level that they increased to earlier in the year, but with cases once again growing across the nation, both Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot are closely watching incoming data so that they can stop an outbreak before it potentially starts.
“Most of our hospital indicators are good,” Lightfoot said. “But the case rate, the daily accumulation of cases, is something I’m definitely concerned about. And we’re not going to hesitate to take the steps that are necessary if we continue to see a rise in that number.”