My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

The Washington Post Had Better Be Joking With This One…Except They’re Not…

Well, Dr. Groves and Mr. Jost must be pretty jealous that their deputy Daniel Weinberg was profiled by The Washington Post. Inside sources informed us that Mr. Weinberg hardly has the stellar job performance record that this article insinuates…(we don’t forget so easily about a certain $800 million Harris Corp. handheld computer debacle…)

Managing the 2010 Census and planning for 2020

 

Daniel Weinberg

Daniel Weinberg (Sam Kittner/Kittner.com)

Meet the Federal Player of the Week, Daniel Weinberg.

Position: Assistant Director for American Community Survey and Decennial Census, U.S. Census Bureau
Age: 60
Residence: Fairfax County, Va.
Education: Ph.D. in economics, Yale University; B.S. in mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Awards:Department of Commerce Bronze and Silver Medals; two Vice President¿s Reinventing Government (Hammer) Awards; Fellow of the American Statistical Association Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics; 2002 Service to America Citizen Services Medal
Hobbies: Tennis, photography, bridge

The 2010 decennial census is just getting underway, but Daniel Weinberg is already thinking about 2020 and how the Internet might be used to collect the nation’s population data.

Weinberg, the assistant director for the Decennial Census and American Community Survey, spends his time in two primary areas: helping make sure everything is in order for the 2010 census and coming up with ways to improve the massive undertaking 10 years from now.

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States, collecting basic information on age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationships and whether a home is owned or rented. By law, both citizens and noncitizens must be counted every 10 years. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments.

“Each census is a 10-year cycle of planning and testing and research,” Weinberg said. “We set a very high bar to automate as much as the process as possible for 2010, and we didn’t succeed as much as we would have liked. We need to carry that over to 2020.”

Weinberg is in charge of the management, geography and statistical divisions of the Census Bureau, helping chart long and short term strategy, troubleshoot, and keeping the huge,complex process moving. He keeps tab of what is going on, seeks to resolve problems as they arise and provides support where needed.

Pshhhhht…If resolving problems as they arise means paying an incompetent company an ADDITIONAL $200 million to create terrible products and software that aren’t even being used for the 2010 Census, then Dr. Weinberg is the best fixer on earth…

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2 Responses to “The Washington Post Had Better Be Joking With This One…Except They’re Not…”

  1. Ex-IT Says:

    Generally, this level of payout for faulty equipment and poor service is obtainable only through kickbacks. However, we should give Mr. Weinberg the benefit of the doubt and attribute it to incompetence.

  2. GS-X Says:

    Why are some Census managers saying they are planning the 2020 Census now? They want to:

    1. keep feeding at the trough for at least a few more years.

    2. defuse criticism of the 2010 Census by promising to do better next time.

    3. distance themselves from the failures of the 2010 Census.

    Honest, accurate documentation of the 2010 Census could be useful for planning the 2020 Census.
    But that should be done by those working on the 2010 Census.

    In the 2010 Census, houses, jails, soup kitchens, and campgrounds are all enumerated by different operations. Many residents fall through the cracks in this fragmented approach to enumeration of the population. Census management likes it because it creates jobs, bureaucracy, and bloated budgets at headquarters.

    In the 2020 Census, teams of no more than four Enumerators should enumerate everyone residing in the geographic area(s) assigned to the team. No census forms should be mailed. Experiments should be performed to determine if householders can accurately aid enumeration by sending data from their smartphone or other device.