Everything from federal funding for critical children’s resources to Michigan’s representation in Congress depends on an accurate count of Michigan residents in the once-a-decade federal Census coming up in 2020. That’s why MEA is committed to ensuring a “Complete Count” for our state and is part of a statewide committee to that end.
“As educators, we have a unique role in the Census, both to participate as individuals but also to share with students and their families how important this process is for our state and our communities,” said MEA Secretary-Treasurer Brett Smith, who is MEA’s representative to the Michigan Complete Count Committee formed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year.
“We can all have a positive impact on the 2020 Census. It starts by making sure that every MEA member completes the census questions next year, but we also have a responsibility to talk about how critical an accurate count is to getting the resources Michigan needs from the federal government, especially in communities that research shows are traditionally undercounted: low-income people, communities of color, rural communities, young children and non-citizens.”
Article I Section 2 of the United States Constitution requires the federal government to count the number of people living in the United States and its territories every ten years. Census data are used by the federal government to allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds to states, counties, and communities each year, as well as to determine the number of representatives each state will have in the United States House of Representatives. Census Day is April 1, 2020 and invitations to respond will begin hitting mailboxes on March 12.
Michigan’s Census efforts are overseen by the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, and the Complete Count Committee is charged with helping to ensure the state’s census count is complete and accurate.
“This Committee is essential to making sure that Michigan has the resources and representation it needs,” said Whitmer in a release announcing the committee’s formation this summer. “The 2020 census count will dictate how much federal funding is allotted to Michigan for our schools, infrastructure, and how many Representatives we have in the United States House of Representatives”
“It is critically important for all Michiganders to participate in the 2020 Census count and this committee will make sure our residents are informed across all communities throughout the state,” said Whitmer. “Our children depend on the federal dollars that come from Census Data and it is our job to make sure we do our best to be counted.”