A recruiter for the upcoming census answered questions including those around citizenship to area democrats.

Ethan Hayes is a recruiting assistant for the field division covering Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Monroe counties for the U.S. Census Bureau. He was the special guest at the Livingston County Democrats monthly meeting, held Thursday night in Brighton Township.

Hayes fielded a bevy of questions during the evening, including those in regards to the citizenship question that President Trump wanted included on the census, but will not be. He said that the question has been “unnecessarily politicized,” and was on the household censuses during the Obama and Clinton administrations. Hayes said the question was “not a big deal” then, but under Trump, things are different. Some agencies that the Census Bureau works with still collect citizenship information, however, but Hayes says that information is kept private. In those instances, the names are divorced from the place of citizenship and can’t be released for 70 years. He confirmed that they can’t be given to another agency, like ICE, or used for a “nefarious purpose.”

Hayes said they looking to hire roughly 300 people for full-time or part- time jobs working the census. Those interested need only have reliable transportation, which could include public transportation, and be able to pass a federal background check. Census workers earn $19 per hour, or $21 per hour for a supervisor’s position, with travel reimbursement. Most workers will stay local and in their own neighborhoods, only being moved out of county in extreme circumstances.

The census is important for its use in determining how many seats Michigan has in the U.S. House of Representatives, how many votes the state has in the electoral college, and how much money it receives from the federal government. Roughly 40% of Michigan’s budget comes from the federal government.

Census Day is Wednesday, April 1st, 2020.

For more information, or to apply, visit www.2020census.gov/jobs. (MK)