At the forum, City leaders including Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor, City Manager Mark Vanderpool and City Clerk Melanie Ryska, among others, will be on hand to share the critical role a complete census count plays in the City's future funding for important state and federal programs. In addition, the new Sterling Heights Census Campaign mascot will also make a grand debut appearance.
The City will underscore the importance of the Census to our local funding through information shared at the forum. For example, Michigan currently distributes more than $465 million a year back to local communities like Sterling Heights for federally funded programs like Medicaid, student loans, nutrition programs like SNAP/WIC, road construction, low-income housing, Community Development Block Grants and more. For every person that goes uncounted in the upcoming census, Sterling Heights residents will lose an estimated $1,800 per year for the next ten years. This means if even 1,000 people go uncounted throughout our City, our residents stand to lose $18 million.
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In addition, census data is used to determine the changing needs of a community. It's vital to get an accurate, up-to-date population count because this data helps City Council and administration make important decisions like how many police officers and firefighters are required to keep our residents safe.
Furthermore, making sure every resident is counted in all local municipalities is important as it affects the State of Michigan's Congressional representation.
"We understand that residents may have some concerns regarding their privacy when asked to fill out the Census," said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. "And we know some residents may have challenges in completing the questionnaire itself. So we're taking the time at this forum to help alleviate some of those concerns by letting attendees know the information collected will only be used for informational and funding purposes and cannot be shared with anyone including government or law enforcement agencies. We also want to share information about census completion events that we will be hosting at city facilities including the library and senior center, community center and those at our partner organizations like Chaldean Community Foundation."
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Census notifications will be mailed to all Sterling Heights addresses mid-March with information on how to complete the questionnaire online, by phone or by mail. April 1, 2020 is Census Day.
"We all benefit from the results of an accurate census count, from the federal funds we receive to the sound decision making from local leaders and a balanced representation in Congress," said Mayor Taylor. "I like to say, when we're all counted, we all win."
For more information about Census 2020, visit www.sterling-heights.net/census2020 or contact Community Relations Director Melanie Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 586. 446.2471 (o), 586.303.0923 (m).
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