By Jan Worth-Nelson
$1,800 per person per year.
That is the key number in why the upcoming national census matters. As Flint city officials explained in a kickoff press conference Friday at City Hall, the census determines how $675 billion in federal dollars is distributed nationwide every year for the next 10 years.
That means $1,800 per person per year.
“Those are dollars that fund Head Start, road repairs, Medicaid, healthy school lunches and so much more. We need the whole community to come together to make sure we get our fair share,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
Neeley joined with a cadre of about two dozen city officials and local partners for what is being called the “Mayoral Complete Count Committee.”
County Commissioner Bryant Nolden, also executive director of Berston Field House, is chairing the committee. The group will coordinate the City’s efforts, develop outreach initiatives and provide information to residents, according to a summary press release from City of Flint Director of Communications Marjory Raymer.
The City of Flint’s census efforts are being headed by DuVarl Murdock, deputy chief of staff; Anthony Turner, a retired partnership specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau will round out the leadership team as the 2020 census coordinator.
Neeley described the committee as “a bouquet of humanity” with representatives from schools, non-English speaking populations, neighborhood groups and the media.
A total of 79.1 percent of Flint residents participated in the 2010 census, Raymer stated, adding that the federal agency expects Fllint will be “increasingly difficult to count” and that participation would drop to 74.1 percent.
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF) is playing a significant role in the effort, partnering with the mayoral committee, and distributing $303,000 to local nonprofits representing hard-to-reach communities in the county–with fund support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Nonprofit Association.
The CFGF will serve as a hub for local nonprofit organizations to support the census effort, Raymer said.
“We are thrilled that the City of Flint has taken the leadership role on Census 2020 outreach efforts,” said Sue Peters, CFGF vice president for community impact.
For more information or to be part of the mayoral committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. General information on the 2020 census is available at www.michigan.gov/census2020/.
The whole list of partners is available at email@example.com.