Today, Michigan officially begins the largest head count in its history. The 2020 census campaign is a partnership between the state, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Michigan Nonprofit Association.
KERRY EBERSOLE SINGH:
The 2020 census will be very convenient. Keep in mind, it's less than 10 questions; it’s actually nine questions. You can fill it out online, through the mail or through the phone. So, you have three venues where you can fill out and complete your census form.
How soon can people access the census form online?
It's actually March 12 (when) the online forum will go live. Somewhere between March 12 and 20 folks will get their first invitation to fill out and complete the census form.
You often hear about concerns on a national level about undercounting; about particular groups (such as) minorities or underserved populations that miss being counted. Has that happened historically in Michigan? What are we trying to do to prevent that?
Yes, traditionally hard to count communities include immigrants and communities of color where English is not their first language. Kids under age five is another large constituency that's undercounted. So, those are key people and constituencies will be focusing our outreach around the state.
From what I'm reading, it’s very likely that we will lose a seat in Congress, and that Michigan has lost a seat every decade since 1970. We had 19 congressional seats in 1970. We have 14, and it looks like we're on our way to 13.
It’s definitely projected that we could lose a congressional seat, but there's a lot of dominoes we don't have in our control. The only thing we can control is how we engage every resident in the state to fill out their census form. That's what we have to stay focused on.
Wednesday marks the official 2020 Census kickoff in Michigan. Please remind us once again of the timeline.
Absolutely. March 12 is when the online form goes live and you will soon receive a piece of mail from the U.S. Census Bureau to ask you to fill out your census form. April 1 is the National Census Day and they stop counting at the end of July. So, you will be hearing more and more as those dates get closer.