'We have a responsibility': Whitmer encourages accurate Michigan census

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an executive order to establish the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee to ensure every Michigander is counted next year.

"Everyone in Michigan counts and we need to make sure everyone in Michigan gets counted," she said. 

The importance of being counted in next year's census goes far beyond calculating how many people live in the state.

"This impacts how much federal funding will come to each community. It will impact what comes into our state. It will impact our ability to create jobs, and provide housing, to build schools, and to provide an education as well as yes, even fixing the roads," she said.

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But community leaders understand fear of some questions, like the citizenship question that is being considered by the Supreme Court, may prevent certain populations from participating. They want you to know that when you answer questions your information is not shared.

Officials want to make it clear that not filling out a census form impacts your community and the state for entire decade. In 2010, the lowest response rate of any major city was in Detroit, and those low numbers cost the city millions in funding in areas like education.

"About $1,800 per person per year for 10 years for every person that's not counted -- that's a lot of resources," said Donna Murray-Brown from the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

The Michigan Nonprofit Association is a member of the governor's Complete Count Committee. Murray-Brown believes they can motivate the communities they serve to trust the census count process.

"Nonprofit organizations are trusted in the community and we know that when they talk to a person that they're serving ... that they are a trusted voice. Not only do they listen they act upon it," she said.

The bottomline is that it's action that impacts what governments can provide for the people they serve.

"As Michiganders, we have a responsibility to make sure we do this right. For communities, for kids, for the future of Michigan," Whitmer said.