“If information is the currency of democracy, then
libraries are its banks.” —Senator Wendell Ford
This year, YDL focuses on our institutional
and individual roles in a successful democracy. We encourage everyone to stand up and be counted in the 2020 US Census.
The 19th Amendment was passed 100 years ago, granting women the right to vote. This summer, YDL hosts two exhibits, highlighting women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement. We’ll round out the year with non-partisan information about November’s local elections, changes you’ll see at the ballot box, and the importance of casting your vote.
This expanded community information (originally included in The Loop) is supported in part by a grant from the United Way of Washtenaw County. Thanks to their generosity, our newsletter shows you more ways to connect with your community.
Every 10 years, the US Census Bureau conducts a count of all persons living in the country to gain critical information that impacts political representation, federal funding, and more.
In 2010, Ypsilanti’s population was one of the most undercounted in the state, which has resulted in the underfunding of social services, community infrastructure, and economic development. This year, the community is working to ensure that every person knows the importance of the Census to the Ypsilanti area and feels empowered to complete it in the spring.
The Decennial Census has a real impact on daily life in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County. The results of the Census determine political representation at the national, state, and local levels. Michigan’s seats in the US House of Representatives could decrease based on the results of the 2020 Census.
It also is used to allocate billions of dollars of federal funding, with each additional individual who takes the Census representing approximately $1,800 in annual dollars used to support our roads, community infrastructure projects, and social service programs.
The Census is also used to plan development in communities, attract businesses, and improve public transportation. These are just a few of the reasons an accurate count is so important to the Ypsilanti community.
How to Take the Census
By April 1, 2020, every household will receive an invitation to respond to the Census online or over the phone. In some cases, households will still receive a paper form. The individual who completes the Census will do so for every member of the household, answering the following questions:
1) The number of people living or staying at your
home, and the name of each person.
2) Whether the home is owned or rented.
3) The sex of each person in the household.
4) The age of each person in the household.
5) The race of each person in the household.
6) Whether a person in the household is of
Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.
7) The relationship of each person in the
household to each other.
All individuals should answer based on where
their primary residence is on April 1, 2020. This
includes college students who spend a majority of
the year living in Ypsilanti, as well as residents who
may be on vacation during the late winter/early
spring. The Census is completely confidential. No
one will be able to look at your individual Census
For example, if you live in a house with
someone who is not legally allowed to live there,
you can include them in your answers and your
landlord will not find out.
During Count Week, libraries, nonprofit agencies, and businesses will be reserving computers for members of the public to complete the Census with volunteers available to help answer questions. Census events at churches, clubs, and other venues will allow community members to come together to take the Census.
Dates and locations will be posted on Washtenaw County’s website in the coming months. YDL is also offering dedicated computers and staff assistance to participate in the Census. Click on the sidebar for more information.
Do you have a great idea about how to increase participation and help Washtenaw County’s Census outreach efforts? Visit Washtenaw County’s Census page to join the conversation and help spread the word.
The League of Women Voters will also have a
table in the lobby at the YDL-Whittaker branch
every Saturday in January and February from 12–2
pm to provide information about the Census.
Click the sidebar to see more.
Also, be sure to attend these events to be Census ready:
THE 2020 CENSUS: Count Every Person
Tuesday, January 28 @ 7:00 pm
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197, United States
The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area explain what the 2020 Census is and why it matters. Census Bureau handouts with more information will be provided.
The 2020 Census: Count Every Person
Thursday, February 6 @ 6:30 pm
YDL-Michigan, 229 W. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197, United States
The League of Women Voters of the Ann ArborArea explain what the 2020 Census is and why it matters. Census Bureau handouts with more information will be provided.
If the 2020 Census has started you thinking about how government works and wanting to participate, you’re in luck! The City of Ypsilanti has several boards, commissions, and committees that you can volunteer to serve on—no election needed. These boards, commissions, and committees generally advise City Council in specific areas, such as the arts, sustainability, social issues, long-range planning, and others.
Some can also review ordinance changes or make decisions on applications. The City also appoints resident delegates to certain regional committees to represent the City’s viewpoint and goals on regional issues. The City has more than 10 of its own boards and commissions, and is represented on at least three regional bodies. In other words, when engaged citizens participate on these boards, the community benefits!
More information about the local and regional boards and commissions, including duties, time commitments, current vacancies, and applications can be found at the city’s website. You can also call the City Clerk’s office at 734-483-1100 for more information.