89.1 WEMU

Census 2020: Ramping Up Local Effort To Win Full Participation

Feb 14, 2020

The final push is getting underway to make sure everyone in Washtenaw County is included in the upcoming population count.  It determines everything to Congressional district boundaries to the number of representatives Michigan sends to Congress to the amount of federal dollars that are dedicated to the county and its residents.  But there are barriers to full participation.  In this month’s "Census 2020," WEMU’s David Fair explores what’s being done to overcome the challenges with Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development communications and policy specialist Peter Lindeman and with Margaret Leary from the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area. 


Peter Lindeman
Credit Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development / washtenaw.org

The United States census is so much more than just a head count.  It is a snapshot of America that determines how congressional seats are apportioned, how state and federal dollars are distributed, where businesses choose to ship products and where they build new stores.  To do all that properly, the count needs to be accurate.  The count next year could lead to Michigan losing one of it's congressional seats in Washington.  There are a number of ways the census is used to lead and govern in Washtenaw County, too.

Census Day is scheduled for April 1st of 2020.  Between now and then, 89.1 WEMU will continue to bring you a series of interviews looking at census issues including, privacy and confidentiality, how it impacts our representation and local funding, why college students and the homeless matter in the count, the hows and whys of taking the census, and what happens after the census is completed. 

Margaret Leary
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

In this edition, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair discusses participation challenges in Washtenaw County with Peter Lindeman from the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development and Margaret Leary from the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area. 

RESOURCES:

Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development

Washtenaw County Census-2020

2020 Census Research, Operation Plans and Oversight

Census 101

League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu