“We have a population of about 230,000 — but, what does that mean? Who are the Arlington residents? How are they being served? How can we better serve them?” ~Elizabeth Hardy
When the Arlington County 2019 Profile showed up in my inbox, I was curious about the people behind it. What are they curious about? What impact does that have on how the information is then used? And what’s the Big Why behind all the data they collect and report, the census included?
Elizabeth Hardy, a principle planner and demographer for Arlington County, tells all.
Henry James wrote in The Art of Fiction: “try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.” I appreciate his homage to the power of paying attention. It’s a good reminder that we may never know what information or experience is going to be important to us – and so we should attend to it all.
Well, perhaps not all. That’s a lot of information. But still.
Elizabeth’s job is to look around, see what’s true, and help find the path to the future we’ve decided we want. She must be one of those on whom nothing is lost, curious in a myriad of ways in service of as many different lives. When you think about it, that’s a pretty awesome responsibility.
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