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Dear friends and colleagues, 
We are excited to announce that our very own Allison Plyer, Chief Demographer of The Data Center, has been asked to serve as Chair for the Census Bureau’s prestigious Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC)!

Dr. Plyer has been a member of the CSAC since 2015 and begins serving as Chair of CSAC effective August 15, 2018. 

Allison is co-author of The New Orleans Prosperity Index which examines whether black New Orleanians have experienced increased economic inclusion since the Civil rights era. She is also lead author of The New Orleans Index series, developed in collaboration with the Brookings Institution to analyze the state of the New Orleans recovery and later to track the region’s progress toward prosperity. 

Dr. Plyer has extensive knowledge of on-the-ground uses of Census data by communities, businesses, and nonprofits for planning, decisionmaking, investing, and advocacy.  In addition, Allison spearheaded the City of New Orleans’ challenge to the Census Bureau’s 2007 and 2008 population estimate, resulting in an upward revision of nearly 75,000 to the Bureau’s estimate of the city’s population — ultimately bringing the estimate for New Orleans within 6 percent of the 2010 Census count. 

“The Federal Government’s selection of Dr. Allison Plyer as Chair of CSAC is yet another recognition of the many ways that New Orleans is leading in knowledge development on disaster recovery, resilience, civic innovation, and open data,” said Lamar Gardere, Executive Director of The Data Center. “We are excited that our Chief Demographer will lead the vital work of the CSAC as preparations for the 2020 Census ramp up. Chairing this important committee also continues The Data Center’s leadership as a neutral provider of data for informed decisionmaking in our region.”

As Chief Demographer at The Data Center for more than a decade, Allison has overseen the development of high-demand publications that feature key Census metrics. These data products answer pressing questions such as “Who Lives in New Orleans and Metro Parishes Now?” Moreover, The Data Center publishes hundreds of demographic variables covering employment and income, housing, educational attainment, transportation, and age breakdowns for each of New Orleans’ 72 neighborhoods. Plyer said, “Census data has been absolutely essential to understanding metro New Orleans. Nonprofits and businesses alike rely heavily on the Census trends The Data Center analyzes and publishes.”

As Chair of CSAC, Plyer will consult with the Census Bureau Director on meeting agendas, assist the Designated Federal Officer in presiding meetings, submit recommendations of the committee to the Census Bureau Director, and follow up on committee recommendations or actions. The Census Bureau is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce; the Chair of CSAC is an unpaid position. 

                                   Learn more about CSAC at:

Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center Team
Lamar Gardere, Rachel Weinstein, Erica Amrine, Allison Plyer, Keisha Smith, Dabne Whitemore, Jenna Losh, and Robby Habans
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