Dr. Ali Modarres is the director of Urban Studies at the University of Washington- Tacoma (UW-T) and is engaged in the work of developing UW-T's Center for Applied Urban Research, dedicated to archiving, aggregating, and synthesizing urban data for the region. He is also a member of GTCF's Board of Directors.
UW-T's Center for Applied Urban Research conducted research into the ways that census data affects everyday life in Pierce County.
"My whole career has been concerned with notions of access. Access defines equality and segregation. It is the difference between getting left behind and getting ahead together. Data is about having the right information and the democratization of data is about how you get and package important information in accessible ways to inform the public."
"This is what our work with the census is about - trying to show the public how data impacts their everyday life. If you don't participate then you don't exist. You actually erase yourself as far as they are concerned and those decisions are made without you. Decisions that can impact a whole generation of people."