State and local officials are launching a campaign to get every resident to fill out their census form and billions of dollars in federal aid are riding on the outcome of that head count.
Counting noses and getting it right in next years nationwide census is Job One for the governor and local officials with a ton of money hanging in the balance if the state does not get the correct count.
“When we know how many people live in the state it impacts the number of congresspeople we have in Washington and in the state legislature,’ explained Gov. Whitmer. “It impacts snap benefits into the state. medicaid and medicare that impact every bit of federal aid that comes in now $675 billion.”
The federal government is hoping to do the census via the internet but local officials worry that many residents can’t do that but yet they needed to be counted.
“Especially in a city like Lansing, which is dense and diverse city, and there may be people who weren’t counted before,” said Mayor Andy Schor. “We have the feds moving to on line counting yet people in my city may not have that capacity.”
Which means a government worker is going to come knocking on their doors and in the immigrant community, that’s a problem.
“They are accustomed to when the government knocks on the door, no good comes out of it,” said Sen. Adam Holier. “And non-immigrants, who don’t trust the government, may be reluctant to answer a host of questions. There are a lot of reasons to be concerned. How many people are in there? What work do you do? Where are you from?”
Lowering the anxiety of among citizens is critical to counting more Michigan residents and by sending census takers who look like you to your door is one way to do it.