Joseph Salvo is responsible for making sure the census counts every New Yorker

Mar 14, 2018 92

BY: Mark Chiusano

Joseph Salvo, head of the Population Division at the NYC Department of City Planning, spoke directly to the camera in a basement conference room in late February. The conference room was empty but the camera did the work for Salvo, beaming his suit-and-tie visage to jurisdictions around the country from New Jersey to Nebraska, where officials in Salvo’s line of work tuned in to learn about what he does best: making sure the residents of his city get counted.

The next nationwide census — in 2020 — is fast approaching, and as with all censuses it will have far-reaching consequences, even before factoring in new census challenges coming from Washington. The decennial U.S. population count determines how to distribute billions of dollars in funding to localities. It underlies redistricting and affects congressional representation. The process even has a hand in how to judge whether communities are healthy (by providing the denominator for health rates). Undercount your population at your peril. This is something that Salvo takes seriously.

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