PONTIAC, Mich. – The census helps determine everything from federal funding to congressional seats and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and a host of others were in Pontiac on Monday working to get the word out.
Elmeisha Branner is a mother of two and a lifelong Pontiac resident. She went to the town hall at her church after the bishop urged members to be counted.
“If I had to give a pitch, my pitch would be, ‘Hey, we live in Pontiac. You always complain, well, do your part,’” she said.
Nessel said billions in federal funding will be lost if people don’t fill out the census.
“In Detroit alone, $5,500 per person that will be lost if people don’t fill it out. That’s a billion in Detroit alone,” Nessel said.
Nessel was joined by a bipartisan group of Oakland County officials. Town halls like the one in Pontiac will be held across Michigan.
Funding for police and fire departments and health care, education, and the roads is determined by the state’s population. Nessel said the information collected will not be shared with law enforcement, that includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“I’m here as the top law enforcement official in Michigan. People who are not citizens, this information will not be used against you,” Nessel said.
Counties that under-report will be affected for years because the census is only conducted once every ten years.
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