Become a Civil Rights Activist by being Counted in the Census! 

What is the Census? 

Every ten years, mandated by the United States Constitution, the United States government takes a total count of the people who are living in this country. 

So What? 

Every adult or child counted in the Census represents about $18,000 in federal funding for programs like free lunch, Head Start, Bridge cards, Medicaid, and more. The number of people counted also determines the amount of representation we get in Congress. The more people, the more money and power for our “come-back city”! 

What Else is New? 

This is the first time in history you can complete your census form online from the familiarity of your home computer or phone. Look for your digital code in the mail! The form is live as of March 14th. You can also come to Focus: HOPE for assistance! 

What’s this got to do with Civil Rights? 

Resources attached to the Census have always motivated people to keep the Census to themselves and exclude or use othersTherefore, many Detroiters are standing together to say, “Count Me In!” Did you know: 

  • Native Americans were not counted in the Census before 1900? 
  • Black Americans used to be counted as 3/5 of a person? 
  • There is NO citizenship question on the Census? The defeated legislation proposing a citizenship question would have prevented many immigrants from being counted due to fear of repercussions 

Over 8,000 Detroiters are currently being counted in Michigan state prisons (for mostly nonviolent offenses) and benefiting those rural districts while Detroit receives no benefit? This hurts not only their children who live, learn and dream here; it also hurts the rest of us who work, play and give back here. Detroit is losing $144,000,000 through this system of mass incarceration alone. 

What can I do? 

  • That’s the easy part: Be Counted! It doesn’t matter where your parents live, or where you pay for car insurance, or how long ago you joined this community, or who claims your children at tax time. If you sleep here, Be Counted here. And ensure everyone in your home is counted here as well. 
  • Join the Count Me in Challenge! Assist people around you with completing the form and check in here to quickly share  with us how you did! We will publish results and shout folks out weekly! 
  • Volunteer at Focus: HOPE. Since this is the first time the form will be available online, we could use your help assisting people who may not understand the process. Contact us at volunteer@focushope.edu to let us know you are interested.