Detroit students turned out in masses for the Census and Voter Education Rally at Wayne County Community College District in Downtown Detroit. The 2020 Census in Detroit is pushing to encourage Millennials and Generation Z who are the most engaged on social media and can spread information through posting and direct messaging. The event was hosted by WCCCD Director of External Affairs, Daniel A. Baxter and featured speakers including Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Detroit vs. Everybody CEO, Tommey Walker and Detroit rap superstar Kash Doll and included a Student Ambassador Swearing-In and Student Rally.
Baxter opened by directly addressing the Student Ambassadors in saying, “We’re pouring into you [the youth] everything that we have so that you know and understand the importance of the Census as well as the election.”
Evans then followed by providing information about the 2020 Census. “In reality, the amount of money that comes will be determined by how many people actually participate,” said Evans. “For every person that’s missing the Census, we lose about $1,800 in funding. We urge you to fill out the Census forms and encourage others to do the same.”
Everyone wore a black “Everybody Counts” T-shirt designed for the event by Tommey Walker. “I don’t want any of you guys to pass up this opportunity because you don’t think your vote counts,” said Walker. “When we vote, we’re letting our voices be heard individually, and we collectively speak truth to power.” Wayne County high school students were then sworn in as Youth Ambassadors by Baxter.
Kash Doll shared her upbringing with the crowd and discussed the 2020 Census. “When you see those letters come to your home, don’t let your parents throw them out,” she said. “Let them know that the Census matters.”
Every ten years, the United States takes a national headcount of every citizen living in the United States. These numbers indicate what areas of government to allot funds toward. Also, the Census helps determine if schools, hospitals, and other businesses should be built in designated areas. Here are a few statistics regarding the U.S. Census:
- Residents use the Census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
- Local government officials use the Census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.
- Businesses use Census Bureau data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, and these create jobs.
- Real estate developers and city planners use the Census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.
Recently, Detroit was recognized as one of the country’s most hard-to-count cities. Factors such as abandoned homes, internet access, impoverished neighborhoods play a role in gathering an accurate account for Detroit citizens. For more information, visit detroitmi.gov/census.