Michigan legislators urge all UP residents to 'Be Counted'

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 4:45 PM EDT
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In a bipartisan vote, the Michigan Legislature has allocated an unprecedented $16M to help with outreach and preparation for the 2020 Census.

The “Be Counted” campaign will spur all Michiganders to complete the survey. The goal of the campaign is to have 82% participation.

Michigan Census Director, Kerry Ebersole Singh says federal funding for the next ten years hinges on whether or not you complete the 2020 Census before the April 30th deadline.

"It could be Medicaid, Medicare, school lunch programs, meals on wheels programs for seniors and student literacy programs" Ebersole Singh announced.

So if you choose not to fill out the census, you could be left off of more than just a map, according to Ebersole Singh.

"Our dollars will be sent someplace else. That’s the last thing we can to do is be a donor state at this point in time," Ebersole Singh exclaimed.

State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) has been keeping a close tab on how Upper Michigan residents have been responding.

"Right now for the entire Upper Peninsula, 43.7% of households have returned their census already. I want to give a shoutout to the City of Norway at 62.7% that has the highest completion rate for our U.P. Counties," Cambensy declared.

However, Cambensy says the 109th District has room for significant improvement.

"In Alger County, only 22.9% have completed the survey, ranking 79th out of 83 counties. Luce County, 29.1%. Schoolcraft County, 37.4% and Marquette County, 47.8%,” Cambensy figured.

57% of the City of Marquette has done their part according to Cambensy.

"Ishpeming is at 48% and Munising is at 42.5%,” Cambensy continued.

These are our largest population areas. But she says it's important that residents across the entire Upper Peninsula meet the April 30 deadline.

"Our largest City in the U.P., Marquette has barely reached 21,000 residents. So that puts us in the rural category just about every place in the U.P. So those rural dollars that often can help us with infrastructure, water and sewer replacement road funding and broadband internet,” Cambensy clarified.

Cambensy also says now is the time for Upper Michigan’s tribal communities to be counted.

"Some of the U.P. tribal areas are doing very well in responding at high rates. But at the same time, U.P. tribal areas are trailing some tribal areas downstate. 43.9% of households in the Bay Mills Tribal area near Sault Ste. Marie have completed the census. 44.5% of the L'Anse Tribal area have completed it. 34.2% in Hannahville in Menominee County have already responded. 56.4% of the households of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Isabella County have completed the census,” Cambensy stated.

Director, Ebersole Singh wanted to clear up any confusion on the part of U.P. college students and snowbirds. “If you live here for six months out of the year, you should use your Upper Michigan address as our census address,” Ebersole Singh clarified.

The U.S. Census Bureau does will not know when it will begin to go door-to-door encouraging residents to fill out the form until sometime in late-May. However, if you fail to fill out the survey before the April 30 deadline, count on a knock on your door later this year.

This year's census is more convenient than ever considering it can be completed by mail, in person, over the phone at 844-330-2020 and online.

for a link to the 2020 Census, FAQs and more.