Posted by Carla Weaver on Sep 07, 2020

Speaker: Laura Bowen & Bernadece Boda from the Census Bureau

President Beers called the meeting to order. 

No guests attending today. 

Pledge of allegiance was recited. 

Nikki Subkowski shared words of grace. 

Remembrance Run was announced for Sept. by Jennifer Casey. Here is the link to sign up: 

Charities and Camps nominations are next week. Please participate. It’s an important function of what we do here. 

Program introduced by Dan Buron. Laura Bowen is covering lower Michigan and Bernadece is covering northern Michigan with the native communities in several states. 

Laura shared a PowerPoint explaining how important the census is from a business perspective. 675 billion annually for 10 years in community and program funding. We need to be committed to equity and equality in sharing resources. This money is based in part on census data. 

Grand Traverse County is using the mobile questionnaire assistance in areas with high traffic with census employees. Non-response homes are getting help. There is follow-up mailings. 

We can help by sharing on social media to remind people that the census is going on and the ways it can be done. You can also host an MQA – a census site. Laura can help with either of these options. 

Bernadece explained how the tribes that are federally recognized are a government to government status. They are countries within a country. All the laws for every tribe in Michigan are different with different languages. Every tribal government has designated someone within their government to work with the census. Without their permission, the census cannot enter their land. Bernadece says she has a solid understanding of these systems to help bridge the gaps. Some of the reservations weren’t allowing census workers on their land. Bernadece is assigned to help with this and works with all the tribes to help them complete the census. They are using videos and social media to encourage Native Americans to complete the census. 

Dan Buron asked why some areas have low response rates. Laura answered that many of our homes up here are second homes. Also there are many rural homes that do not have regular addresses that receive mail. A census worker has to visit each of these homes. Also, lots of people up here do not have access to internet. Additionally, some people do not trust the government and do not want to be counted. 

Bernadece emphasized that the internet is a major difficulty, as well as establishing some trust in the census process. Tribes are also encouraging that if anyone in the house is a tribal member, to list that tribal member as number one so the household is counted as a native household. 

Thom wants to know if the census workers get lists every day about who has registered and completed the census. 

People are encouraged to talk to the census workers even if they don’t want to participate. 

How is the homeless population counted? There is a dedicated person who has contact with the people experiencing homelessness, and they are contacting all the sites to find them. There are mobile questionnaire sites that help with this. 

How does the September 30 deadline effect efforts? The census is making every effort to have workers out in the field and getting it done. They are promoting it as much as possible, and also empowering kids to help their parents complete the census. Both women ask all of us to disseminate information about it the census to everyone you know.,9676,7-404-96012---,00.html

Dan Buron presented the Wheels of Hope donations to both women as a thank you for their presentation and their work. 

Mack reminded everyone to attend next week so that we have a quorum for nominations. 

Kathy will have a printout to count anyone attending by using the name on the screen.