Thursday, August 27, 2020

County commissioners oppose new Census deadline

Members of the Wayne County commission have unanimously opposed the effort that moved the response date for the 2020 U.S. Census from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30.
At the same time, commissioners strongly urged those who haven't yet responded to make sure they are included in the count this year.
“With all that is going on in the world and in our country we need to keep things the way they are,” Chairman Alisha  Bell said. “Michigan is doing well in terms of its census response but some Wayne County communities are not. It is so important to have a fair and accurate count.
“The census determines how much revenue our county will receive from the federal government for the next decade.''

The resolution notes that the census is a two-step process and that shortening the second step, collecting data door-to-door will hurt those who depend on the census the most.
Revenue for Medicare, Head Start and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), among other programs, depends on the Census.
“Many of these households are the most neglected part of our citizenry. They include people of color, immigrants, and persons with low income. These are the very people who need the full benefits of an accurate Census,” the resolution states.
The census will also determine how Congressional, state and county districts will be apportioned for the next 10 years.
Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau announced earlier this month that all counting efforts for this year will end Sept. 30, one month sooner than had previously been announced.
Commissioners approved the resolution 14-0 with Commissioner Terry Marecki (R-Livonia) abstaining.
The census was to have been completed by July 31, but that date was moved to Oct. 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil rights organizations and county officials from several states have filed a lawsuit to block the change.
The resolution is being sent to the Michigan Congressional delegation, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among other elected officials.