With questions looming about the 2020 Census, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at making sure Michigan has a “complete count.”
Whitmer’s order established the Census Complete Count Committee, a 63-member committee that will ensure the constitutionally mandated, once-a-decade count of people living in the U.S. is accurate.
“This Committee is essential to making sure that Michigan has the resources and representation it needs,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The 2020 census count will dictate how much federal funding is allotted to Michigan for our schools, infrastructure, and how many Representatives we have in the United States House of Representatives.”
The upcoming Census has been uncharacteristically controversial, as President Donald Trump’s administration has been fighting to include a question that would ask census-takers whether or not they’re United States citizens. There’s significant concern that the question could deter undocumented immigrants from responding, leading to an undercount.
Census data is used to determine funding for programs like public education and food assistance.
Whitmer’s new committee will be housed within the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB), and will be tasked with developing recommendations to ensure Michigan gets an accurate census count.
“It is critically important for all Michiganders to participate in the 2020 Census count and this committee will make sure our residents are informed across all communities throughout the state,” said Whitmer. “Our children depend on the federal dollars that come from Census Data and it is our job to make sure we do our best to be counted.”
Whitmer will chair the new committee and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist will serve as vice-chair. It also will include state Sens. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) and Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), as well as state Reps. Julie Calley (R-Portland) and Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit).
Also joining the committee will be as-yet-unnamed statewide municipal leaders and officials from a variety of nonprofit advocacy organizations.