WVON’s morning drive personalities Matt McGill and Perri Small, last Friday, came to J&W Jamaican Jerk Restaurant, 5148 W. Madison St., owned by West Side minister and civil leader Rev. John T. Abercrombie, pastor of Truth & Deliverance Ministries, 3 S. Laramie Ave.

In keeping with their long tradition of broadcasting in the community, WVON has been working to get information out to residents on the importance of Census 2010.

WVON talk show hosts have recently broadcast from other locations, including Cliff Kelley’s at McDonald’s, 70 E. Garfield Blvd., April 16, and Santita Jackson at Sakia Restaurant, 740 E. 63rd St. on the Kennedy-King campus, April 27.

Since 1790, the United States has conducted a census, counting its population every 10 years. In some communities residents have been reluctant or skeptical about filling out the Census. As a caller told Matt and Perri last Friday, “There is no evidence that the Census ever harmed anyone.” Not being counted, however, can hurt all of us. According to the Census Bureau, every person not counted will cost a community nearly $15,000, for education, roads and emergency services.

WVON is trying to get the message out because the response has been very low in communities such as Austin (47.9%), West Garfield Park (40.6%), East Garfield Park (41.9%), North Lawndale (40.9%), South Lawndale (41.7%), Lower West Side (36.6%) and Humboldt Park (44.9%). By comparison, the overall response in Illinois is 70 percent.

On hand to welcome Matt and Perri were Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), Rev. John Abercrombie, Ald. Deborah Graham (29th), Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), and Cong. Danny K. Davis (D-7th).

Ald. Burnett said, “I came out here because it is very important that our folks get counted. It has a major impact on our society and community. I hate to label us as people who need a lot, but we have a lot of people in our community who need a lot. And the money that will come to our city and state will go to a lot of people in need. A lot of folks need housing, education, jobs, new schools, new streets, more transportation. … All of those things deal with the numbers they look at. When the numbers are falsified or under-counted, we get less. It is important.”

Rev. Abercrombie added, “I just felt the urgency with our businesses. Millions of dollars will be lost if, in fact, we are not counted.”