For the sake of our future, please be counted

typewriter The deadline for returning Census forms has come and gone – but the Census count is far from over.

If you did not get a form, lost it or didn’t fill one out, there is still time to be counted. For the sake of Hamtramck’s financial health, we urge you to fill out a form if you haven’t already.

No one from the government can do this for us and we have only ourselves to rely on. For every person living in this city who is counted in the Census, Hamtramck will receive several thousand dollars for the next 10 years in various forms of federal aid, grants, road projects – you name it, the list is endless.

So far, the count is not going well here. Only about 40 percent of the households have returned their form. Come on, Hamtramck, we can do better than that.

If you don’t care about the money, at least think of the Census as a matter of community pride. Don’t you want your city – your hometown – to be counted?

In the coming weeks, Census enumerators will be visiting households that did not return a form. Please cooperate with them. The information you submit will not be shared with any other agency – either public or private.

In other words, your household information will remain confidential. We know that this is a hard sell for some, and there seems to be a growing sense of distrust of our government. But the reality is, this information indeed remains secret.

If you are living here illegally you still have nothing to fear. This information will not be shared with immigration authorities.

The constitution mandates that we hold a Census once every 10 years. It is a way to accurately compile who we are as a nation. If, for example, we have large population areas with impoverished people, this Census information can help direct government leaders on setting policy and helping out those areas out.

The Census is for our own good.

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