On April 1st, USCRI Detroit Director Tawfik Alazem was invited to join Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Senator Gary Peters, U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, and many leaders from community organizations, businesses, and non-profits for the “BE COUNTED DETROIT CENSUS 2020 KICK-OFF” press conference at Focus Hope in Detroit.
The city of Detroit launched its effort to make sure all Detroiters, regardless of where they live, their age, income or immigration status, are counted. Each year, the city loses $1,800 for every person that is not counted in the census. The federal government distributes over $14 billion in funding to the State of Michigan annually for programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, WIC, school lunches, special education and road construction, all based on the Census count.
“There is nothing more important than ensuring that every Detroiter stand up and be counted,” Mayor Mike Duggan told the large crowed. The gathering had the atmosphere of a fervent political rally, with poets, politicians and preachers all challenging the audience to help get the word out.
The event was also an opportunity for USCRI Detroit’s Director to meet with the newly elected U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib and congratulate her on behalf of USCRI for winning the election and wish her the very best for her tenure and work ahead. The event also served for a means of continuing outreach with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Senator Gary Peters on current USCRI Detroit work and services to refugees and immigrants in the community.