Governor Walz kicks off 2020 Census countdown

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Marilyn Sanders (left) the regional director of the US Census Bureau with Anika Robbins of the We Count campaign and former Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton (second from right) at the Census 2020 yearlong countdown kickoff at the Minnesota State Capitol on Monday, April 1, 2019. Photo: Tom Gitaa/Mshale

Minnesota governor Tim Walz and U.S. Census Bureau regional director Marilyn Sanders on Monday helped kick off the yearlong countdown to the April 1, 2020 census at the Minnesota State Capitol. Walz said “The ability to have a fair democracy is incumbent on every single person being counted.” Highlighting his administration’s push for $2.5 from the legislature to support census outreach initiatives, he called the census one of the “one of the truly non partisan issues that will come under this dome,”

Sanders whose regional office in Chicago covers eight states including Minnesota said the state has the second highest response rate based on the 2010 census. The census is used to apportion congressional seats as well as determine the amount of federal aid each state receives.

In the 2010 census, Minnesota as able to keep its current slots of eight congressional seats when it beat the next state by just 8,739 people. There are concerns again this time that it is in a similar situation as the state’s population, while growing, is not growing as fast as others. there are also concerns that hard to count populations like immigrants might be put off by the citizenship question that is pending at the US supreme court. Lower courts have rejected the Trump administration’s attempts to include the citizenship question. The administration has appealed to the supreme court and a decision is expected this summer with arguments before the court stating on April 23.

The Census Bureau however seems unfazed by the politics surrounding the citizenship question. Responding to questions from the media at the St. Paul event, director Sanders said “Our message is that we’re prepared to count everyone. The census is confidential and the census is safe,”

Present at Monday’s activities were former Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton and Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer. The two are co-chairs of the governor appointed “Complete Count” committee.

Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison announced this week that the state is joining 17 other states in challenging the Trump administration’s decision to include the citizenship question. There is feat that the question might lead to an undercount of immigrants, impacting crucial federal aid to the state.

The census is also currently hiring thousands of temporary workers as it prepares for the count next year. To apply for the jobs available, follow this link.

Author

  • Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

About Tom Gitaa

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

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Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.