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Volunteers canvas Michigan neighborhoods to get people to fill out 2020 Census

The clock is ticking on an effort to make sure everyone in Michigan is counted in the 2020 Census.

Volunteers from different groups were out Saturday, hoping normally undercounted neighborhoods were heard and can get the services they need.

“Those dollars represent the possibility of things to be placed, to be fixed, to be upgraded,” said Robert Olive.

Most of the volunteers were millennials hoping to show Detroiters -- both young and old -- answering the survey is about fighting for a better future.

“When you see young people out here doing, it that inspires people to do it more,” Marcus Berry said. “Because it’s a stereotype with young people.”

Although for some homes, it can be tough to get a response.

The White House announced Monday it’s ending the Census a month early, despite the recommendation of the U.S. Census Bureau. For those on the ground, making sure every person responds comes with a personal touch to help open doors as the window to get counted closes fast.

READ: Worries about 2020 census’ accuracy grow with cut schedule

Census experts, academics and civil rights activists worry the sped-up count could hurt its thoroughness and produce inaccurate data that will have lasting effects through the next decade. The count determines how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed and how many congressional districts each state gets.

Kierrriakus Peterson-Lee recently got out of prison. After serving his time, he wanted to serve his community. He’s hoping his story will help reach those leery of government questions.

“A lot of people who were raised in these types of neighborhoods feel like the people on the other side of the law aren’t for them and that’s incorrect,” Peterson-Lee said. “I want to make sure everyone who’s out here today knows that.”

But the pandemic has complicated the 2020 Census, adding another hurdle as the clock keeps ticking.


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