2020 census

New Michigan Media publishers are urging you to fill out the Census.

As publishers representing New Michigan Media (NMM) and engaging with more than 100 ethnic and minority media outlets across our state, there is one thing we agree upon — responding to the 2020 U.S. Census benefits all Michiganders.

Whether a Native American newspaper in the Upper Peninsula, a Latino radio station in Grand Rapids, an African American publication in Lansing, a Bangladeshi media outlet in Hamtramck, an Albanian TV station in Troy or a 115-year-old Polish weekly in Detroit — all are participating through a NMM-outreach initiative supported by the Michigan Nonprofit Association to maximize Census participation.

The 2020 Census has been mailed to your household and is now in your hands. It contains only nine questions and is protected by the strictest confidentiality laws on the federal books. Since our country’s first Census in 1790 headed by Thomas Jefferson (it had six questions then), our country has counted its population every 10 years, whether those residing here were citizens or not.

Every year, the federal government gives money it has collected from taxes back to the states. How much money Michigan receives depends on how many people live here. Based on the 2010 Census, Michigan has received about $30 billion a year to fund students loans, Pell grants, school meals, Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, Meals on Wheels, housing loans, road construction, transit and so much more.

Historically, Michigan’s population has been undercounted, especially in ethnic, minority and Native American communities. Quite simply, our state is leaving money on the table. As an example, every person not counted in Detroit would cost the city $5,500 every year for 10 years. If 3% of Detroiters don’t get counted (about 20,000 people), Detroit would lose about $1 billion over the next 10 years.

We only have one opportunity to be counted — and that time is now. Please fill out the 2020 Census. Just 10 minutes of your time today will positively impact Michigan and all our communities, every day, every month, every year for the next 10 years.

Elias Gutierrez, The Latino Press, Osama Siblani, The Arab American News, Arthur Horwitz, The Jewish News, Tack-Yong Kim, Michigan Korean Weekly, Dr. Hayg Oshagan, Executive Director of New Michigan Media

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