Novoselsky Questions Accuracy of U.S. Census Count in Ward 2

Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky discovered during his research on the city’s redistricting process that 67 people had listed their address on U.S. Census data as living on the block where Atlas Auto Body Collision Repair stands on North Shore Road.

“When I looked at the triangle, it was right where Atlas Auto Body’s building is,” said Novoselsky, who represents that area in Ward 2. “I said, ‘How can there be 67 people living in Atlas Body when it’s a body shop?’’’

Novoselsky said he was told that “the census people from the Federal government sent that information to the City of Revere.”

Novoselsky’s inquiry about the Atlas Auto Body address was raised during a discussion about the reprecincting maps of the city at a City Council meeting Monday.

Reuben Kantor, Revere’s chief innovation officer, said in an interview Tuesday, “The City basically had no role in the collection of the data relating to the parcel in question. The only people who are legally allowed to do the census collection are federal employees. The census workers are U.S. Commerce Department employees. The City does outreach to let communities know that the census workers are coming [to the city].”

Kantor added that the only data that would exist related to the census block parcel would exist at the Federal level.

“We’re not given that information,” explained Kantor. “All we’re given is the number of people in each census block. And then we could give some basic demographics about that.”

Kantor also noted that in the year 2000 in that same census block, “57 people were recorded as living at that location.”

“In the 2010 census, it reduced to 35,” said Kantor. “So this is not the first time that people have been recorded by the U.S. Census as living at that block. I would note that there are no people in our voter registration or City Census databases who are recorded as living or voting from or in any other way from that particular block.

“So whatever problem is going on in that data, it goes back decades and most likely has no specific role in any City work that was done in 2020,” concluded Kantor.

Novoselsky said that Kantor’s response was accurate, and he agreed with his point that that the City of Revere had nothing to do with the counting of those listed as “allegedly living” at the Atlas Auto Body address. He thanked Kantor for his thorough and professional summation of the matter.

“We have asked for an audit to see what people are listed there and who did the listing,” said Novoselsky.

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