Who We Are:

Minnesotans for the American Community Survey (MACS) is a coalition of Minnesota leaders, policy and decision makers, business and development planners, forecasters, housing and social service providers, educators, and engaged citizens. Our mission is to educate Minnesota’s members of Congress about the critical importance of Census data to drive a strong economy and improve the well-being of all Minnesotans.

Why This Matters — Current challenges to Census data:

  • Want a quick run-down of what’s at stake? Visit The Census Project website to learn more.
  • Census Bureau budget requests for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey must receive adequate and timely funding in order to produce an accurate, efficient count of the population as required by the U.S. Constitution.  Congress mandated that the 2020 population be counted at a cost no higher than that of the 2010 Census, not accounting for larger, more diverse communities or inflation.  The Census Bureau has developed a modernized, efficient design that can meet that objective, but Congress must provide the promised funding in a timely way.  Without sufficient funding, the total cost of the 2020 Census could be as much as $5 billion higher than necessary.
  • The Census Bureau is in the normal “ramp up” period of testing, design, and implementation for the 2020 Census.    Budget shortfalls in the past few years have severely impacted 2020 planning, the ACS, and the Economic Census.    The 2017 Field tests were cancelled due to lack of funding.
  • Now is the time for our government to invest in efficient and effective design for the 2020 Census. Cutting $$ now leads to significantly higher costs later.
  • Since 2012, bills in the House and Senate have been introduced to make the ACS a voluntary survey and not provide adequate funding for this vital resource.   Several such amendments passed the House but not the Senate and so have not become law.  Opposition to the ACS from a few strong voices in Congress is based on the belief that many individuals object to the survey.  In fact, Minnesota has among the highest ACS response rates in the nation.   Minnesota’s 3rd and 6th Congressional districts have the first and second highest ACS response rates, respectively, in the U.S., with 75-80 percent responding to the survey immediately, and a final response rate of 99 percent.
  • A voluntary ACS would diminish the quality and availability of small-area data, which guide daily decisions across the state. Neighborhoods and rural areas would be especially hard hit with loss of data.

Get Involved and Support the ACS:

  • Fast Growing: MACS has grown from 12 members in March of 2013 to 180 organizational and individual supporters now.
  • Non-Political: Includes public and private sector organizations,economic development groups, non-profits and foundations, and faith community supporters from across Minnesota.
  • What We Do: Supporters believe in data-driven policy and actions.   Census data are critically important for economic development and the well-being of all Minnesotans.

Click here to download an informational handout on MACS.

MACS Board of Directors:

Joan Naymark, MACS Executive Director
Marcia Avner, Principal, Avner Consulting and Metro State University
Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer
Todd Graham, Principal Forecaster, Metropolitan Council and Steering Committee Member, Census State Data Center Network
Rodolfo Gutierrez, HACER; Minnesota Council on Nonprofits Board Member
Chris Henjum, Attorney and Analyst, The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and The Greater Minnesota Partnership
Megan Livard, EDAM – Economic Developmoent Association of Minnesota and also Business Retention & Expansion Manager, Greater MSP
Jeff Matson, Director, CURA Community GIS
Michael Peterson, Economic Analyst, City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development
Bob Tracy, Director of Public Policy & Communications, Minnesota Council on Foundations