By Charles Sercombe
Volunteers gave it one more shot at promoting the Census on Saturday.
This week is the deadline to return Census forms. Last Saturday, a group of high school students taped up Census promotional posters on the windows at the former Shoppers World.
After that, the students went up and down Jos. Campau to help further promote participation in the Census.
A lot is at stake for Hamtramck. The city needs to get an accurate population count to qualify for additional federal funding for the next 10 years. So far, Hamtramck residents are lagging far behind the national average of those who returned the forms.
According to the Census Bureau, only 40 percent of the forms sent to Hamtramck homes have been returned. Nationally, 70 percent of the households have mailed the form back.
The city formed a Complete Count Committee, which is chaired by Virginia Skrzyniarz of the Piast Institute. Skrzyniarz said volunteers will be walking through the neighborhoods to talk with residents and make sure they return the form.
Census enumerators will also visit households that did not return the form. The Census is spending an unprecedented amount of money this time around to guarantee an accurate national population count.
The Census is mandated by the constitution and occurs once every 10 years. In the 2000 Census, Hamtramck city officials organized volunteers to get more residents to participate. The effort paid, as the city’s population rose by about 5,000 from the 1990 Census.
It’s anyone’s guess what this year’s count will be. It is feared that since so many residents lost their homes to foreclosure, the head count may go down from 23,000.