DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is ready to challenge data coming from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Duggan said the bureau did not make a concerted effort for the City of Detroit, a concern he reportedly had before the census process even began.
“For the first time in my lifetime, there was no census office in the city of Detroit," he said. "The Census Bureau cut their budget, scales it back and there was no Detroit office or Detroit focus.”
Duggan said that was his first red flag.
The importance of getting the right count — he says— could mean tens of millions of dollars in much-needed federal funds.
The mayor believes the pandemic disrupted the process, along with a lack of funding and short change effort to go door-to-door to check in with households that did not submit their information.
Some census workers told him the process was mismanaged.
“I think it was unsafe because we had to go out ourselves and it was just very unorganized," census worker Clois Foster said. "I didn’t get cases until 3 p.m., 5 p.m.”
The follow-up process was supposed to continue until the end of this month, but was cut short after the Supreme Court allowed the federal government to end the census count early.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib —a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee — believes Detroit is undercounted.
“We have an action here to making sure we hold the federal government accountable," Tlaib said.
Now, Duggan is collecting information to prepare to challenge the Census Bureau’s figures.
He is using numbers from DTE to determine how many households are in Detroit.
The mayor has also set up a hotline and email address to talk with census workers about their experience:
The Census Bureau is legally obligated to report their population figures to the president by December 31.