The US Census 2020 and the Future of DEI in America

Do you know how much the U.S. Census touches all of our lives? I sure didn’t realize just how much every aspect of our day to day is impacted by the Census. The abrupt closing of the Census 2020 puts vulnerable populations in jeopardy for years to come. This issue has been largely underreported.

My guest this week is Melissa Bird, the executive director of the DC Census 2020. Melissa joined the DC Office of Planning in 2005 and currently serves as a Lead Planner in the Neighborhood Planning division and also as a project manager for the Comprehensive Plan. Prior to the Comprehensive Plan she served as project manager on a variety of projects and initiatives including the Streetcar Master Land Use Study (Congress for New Urbanism, Charter Award 2011) and the Southwest Neighborhood Plan (NCAC-APA Outstanding Plan Award 2016).  Prior to joining the DC Office of Planning, she worked in environmental consulting for five years at the Louis Berger Group. Her experience includes land use planning, environmental planning and community engagement. Melissa has a Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and also graduated from the ULI Regional Land Use Leadership Institute in 2016.

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