WADL TV 38-Detroit has a commitment to metropolitan area viewers to provide them with accurate and timely information that affects the community. For some time you have been hearing about the importance of the 2010 Census.
The census is a nationwide head count of every person residing in the United States. I can’t emphasize enough how important this year’s count is, especially to Michiganders and particularly to those who live in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.
It is in our nature to be private about our personal information, and some of the question the census workers may ask may seem intrusive, but remember, it benefits our state, counties and cities if we are providing accurate information.
The census counts both citizens and non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants. Even those people who don’t have traditional “homes” are counted, such as people who are homeless, prison inmates, and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The Census Bureau does not share your personal information with courts, the police, or other federal departments such as the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security.
The information on your census form is completely confidential, as mandated by federal law, and cannot be disclosed for 72 years.
All Census Bureau employees have taken a lifetime oath to protect confidentiality and if they violate this oath, face prison, a fine, or both. The most important purpose of the census is this.
The information that is collected through the census process will affect how approximately $400 billion per year in federal and state government funds will be distributed.
Those distributions directly impact, services, transportation, road improvement, education and more. It is a critical necessity that will impact how we revitalize our cities and the state of Michigan.
We need to make sure that Metro Detroit gets its fair share. So if you haven’t already filled out and mailed in your census form, I am personally asking you to do the following: When the census taker comes to your door, first, make sure that they present valid identification; second, remember that the information requested is critical to our growth as a community, Lastly, encourage, your family and friends to do the same.
Remember getting our fair share of $400 billion depends on it.
Lewis Gibbs is president and general manager of WADL TV 38-Detroit and the Word Network.