Rural FG Report by wdo11402

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 72

									On the Road to 2010
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   United States Census Bureau




     Final Report

          Rural Outreach
           Focus Groups

                   Fresno, CA
              Charleston, WV
                  Jackson, MS
Contents

Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ 5

Introduction ....................................................................................................................11

Summary and Analysis of Individual Focus Groups

         Fresno, CA...........................................................................................................15

         Charleston, WV....................................................................................................29

         Jackson, MS ........................................................................................................45

Conclusions and Recommendations..............................................................................59


Appendix A: List of Participating Organizations..............................................................67




                                                                                                                                      3
Executive Summary
The U.S. Census Bureau values the partner-            ♦   Reaching and motivating rural residents.
ships they have developed over the years and          ♦   Identifying major influencers of rural resi-
decided to study the effectiveness of its Rural           dents.
Partnership Program. As part of the 2010 Re-          ♦   Effective methods for disseminating infor-
search and Development efforts, they con-                 mation/materials to rural residents.
ducted three Rural Outreach focus groups in           ♦   Effectiveness of promotional materials in
the cities of Fresno, CA, Charleston, WV, and             rural communities.
Jackson, MS. Fresno, CA, was selected in              ♦   Reading and writing limitations in rural
order to gain input from organizations in the             communities.
area that serve migrant and seasonal farm-            ♦   Access to technology in rural communities.
workers. Charleston, WV, was chosen to get            ♦   Outreach to migrant populations and tribal
input from organizations serving Appalachian              governments.
population. The third site, Jackson, MS, was          ♦   Communicating the Census Bureau’s com-
selected to gain input from organizations serv-           mitment to confidentiality.
ing the rural south populations of Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Texas. All sessions were con-          The groups offered specific recommendations
ducted during the months of March and April           which are found in the contents of this report.
of 2003.                                              Listed below is a summary of the recommen-
                                                      dations provided by the participants for each
The purpose of these focus groups was to              of these areas:
collect information from culturally, racially, eth-
nically, geographically, and socially diverse         1. Reaching and motivating rural resi-
individuals as a basis for developing new and             dents.
innovative census outreach strategies to rural        The Census Bureau should:
populations. All of the participants in the           ♦   Begin outreach and communication efforts
three focus groups were partners from rural               for 2010 early, no later than 2005.
organizations during Census 2000.                     ♦   Become more aware of the variety of di-
                                                          verse communities within rural populations
The questions used in the focus groups were               and ensure that Partnership Specialists go-
specific and focused on generating input on               ing into communities truly represent the
the following areas:                                      communities in which they serve.
                                                      ♦   Make a special effort to reach chil-



                                                                                                         5
        dren/youth, immigrants, migrant farmwork-     2. Identifying major influencers of rural
        ers, and the elderly through innovative            residents.
        programs and activities targeted at these     The Census Bureau should:
        unique populations.                           ♦   Communicate immediately and directly
    ♦   Build relationships with existing commu-          with rural leaders and their communities
        nity and religious organizations and pro-         about concerns and fears many illegal im-
        grams in rural areas such as Community            migrants have regarding the Office of
        Action Programs, Head Start, 4-H Clubs,           Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue
        Social Services, and Agricultural Exten-          Service, and other law enforcement agen-
        sion Services.                                    cies. These rural leaders include
    ♦   Involve national organizations earlier in         priests/ministers, teachers, social workers,
        the rural outreach process, such as               and medical workers.
        League of United American Citizens            ♦   Train key community influencers on meth-
        (LULAC), California Rural Legal Assis-            ods and techniques for reaching out to
        tance (CRLA), Mexican American Legal              people, and on the value and benefits of
        Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF),              the census to make them more effective
        and United Farm Workers (UFW).                    as census ambassadors.
    ♦   Expand the use of local media, including      ♦   Continue to encourage the establishment
        in-language newspapers, radio, television,        of Complete Count Committees. They
        and local politicians who are respected in        worked well as strong influencers in 2000.
        their communities.
    ♦   Use “freebies” or giveaways, especially       3. Effective methods for disseminating
        more practical, functional items, such as         information/materials to rural resi-
        highlighters, calendars, letter openers,          dents.
        fans, stress balls, and water bottles.        The Census Bureau should:
    ♦   Provide Train-the-Trainer sessions to rural   ♦   Expand utilization of radio, television, and
        leaders and partners who can then edu-            print media in designing and disseminat-
        cate their network of volunteers about            ing positive messages to rural communi-
        census goals, procedures, etc.                    ties.
                                                      ♦   Encourage local businesses to promote
                                                          census participation in their advertise-




6
    ments.                                              ernment names and jargon.
♦   Request support from nationally- or cultur-     ♦   Emphasize images of families and com-
    ally-recognized heroes to convey the cen-           munity support groups, such as fire de-
    sus message.                                        partments, doctors, and teachers. Use
♦   Utilize familiar images from culture, sports,       icons/images that people are familiar with
    and entertainment to create a connection            in their local areas.
    to census goals, and economic value to          ♦   Show images that connect the present to
    rural communities.                                  the future, such as children helping an
♦   Utilize resources where people within the           elderly person fill out the census form.
    community go to receive services, such as
    family and social services organizations,       5. Reading and writing limitations in ru-
    Head Start, and Hospice Care.                       ral communities.
♦   Encourage rural leaders to work with com-       The Census Bureau should:
    munity committees to plan special events,       ♦   Keep in mind the literacy level of many
    including sporting events, festivals, and           rural populations. Pay attention to spe-
    parades.                                            cial language needs, especially for cer-
                                                        tain rural and migrant populations. Use
4. Effectiveness of promotional materials               pictures, videos, and very simple lan-
     in rural communities.                              guage to communicate the census mes-
The Census Bureau should:                               sage.
♦    Design posters and other marketing ma-         ♦   Census information should be included in
     terial to be more culturally diverse and           English as a Second Language (ESL),
     reader friendly. Instead of creating multi-        General Education Development (GED),
     ple posters with one specific picture on it,       adult education, college curriculums, as
     the Census Bureau should develop a col-            well as citizenship classes and state liter-
     lage of pictures to represent the wide va-         acy programs.
     riety of cultures in rural communities.
♦    Keep the language or message simple at         6. Access to technology in rural commu-
     a fifth- or sixth-grade reading level. Keep        nities.
     messages short in length and match the         The Census Bureau should:
     messages to the audience. Avoid gov-           ♦   Recognize that there is currently little or




                                                                                                       7
        no access to computers and the Internet           or their children.
        in many rural homes. However, access          ♦   Work with Tribal Chiefs, Elders, and
        to computers and the Internet are avail-          Tribal council members to outreach to
        able in the community through libraries,          American Indian/Alaska Native popula-
        housing and community centers,                    tions.
        churches, community-based organiza-           ♦   Prepare simple promotional materials for
        tions, senior centers, and mobile com-            Tribal Governments with few words de-
        puter labs in some areas.                         scribing census benefits and the value to
    ♦   Plan to use computers and other technol-          American Indian/Alaska Native popula-
        ogy for the 2010 Census in communicat-            tions.
        ing with rural partners despite these limi-   ♦   Create relevant, meaningful images on
        tations.                                          printed materials, as images are very im-
                                                          portant to American Indian/Alaska Native
    7. Outreach to migrant populations and                populations and have a strong, lasting
        Tribal Governments.                               effect on them.
    The Census Bureau should:
    ♦   Begin communication immediately and           8. Communicating the Census Bureau’s
        directly with rural leaders and their com-        commitment to confidentiality.
        munities about concerns and fears             The Census Bureau should:
        among migrant populations regarding           ♦   Communicate its commitment to confi-
        Homeland Security and the Internal                dentiality in simple and clear language.
        Revenue Service.                                  Be specific in explaining the penalties
    ♦   Utilize more bilingual enumerators and            and fines for breaking confidentiality with
        census outreach workers and volunteers.           census data. Inform the public that all
        Include migrant farmworkers on Com-               paid census workers go through thorough
        plete Count Committees.                           background checks and clearances prior
    ♦   Develop materials in Spanish using sim-           to starting work.
        ple words and a low reading level. Em-        ♦   Provide census workers with business
        phasize confidentiality of the census             cards with a telephone number so people
        process in all contacts with migrant work-        may call to verify that someone works for
        ers to alleviate fears of losing their jobs       the Census Bureau.




8
Lastly, the participants of the focus groups
were impressed by the fact that the U.S.
Government sought their opinions about how
to strengthen outreach to rural populations.
They hope that this type of forum will con-
tinue in the future.




                                               9
Introduction
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Partnership and         to coordinate and facilitate three four-hour
Data Services Staff initiated the develop-       focus groups at a variety of locations to
ment of three Rural Outreach focus groups        gather information on how to better reach
as a part of the 2010 research and develop-      rural communities. Each group was com-
ment efforts. These meetings took place in       prised of approximately six to twelve partici-
Fresno, California, Charleston, West Vir-        pants selected from a targeted population of
ginia, and Jackson, Mississippi, in the          approximately 500 rural partners from Cen-
months of March and April of 2003.               sus 2000. The following outlines the general
                                                 process and criteria applied for the selection
The focus group participants were very en-       of the final twenty-three focus group partici-
gaging, attentive, and expressive in their in-   pants.
teraction on each of the discussion topics.
They generated a high volume of creative         Selection Criteria for Participants for
ideas and suggestions during the relatively      Rural Outreach Focus Groups
short time allocated for each research topic.    The participants for the Rural Outreach fo-
                                                 cus groups were identified from the list of
Goal, Objective and Approach                     rural partners from Census 2000. It was
The goal and objective of these focus            very important to get a diversity of rural ar-
groups were to collect information from ra-      eas representing this country. In order to
cially, ethnically, and socially diverse indi-   ensure a broad representation of input from
viduals, representing geographically diverse     rural populations, three geographically differ-
rural areas of the country, as a basis for de-   ent sites were selected. Fresno, California,
veloping new and innovative census out-          was selected in order to gain input from or-
reach strategies to rural populations. The       ganizations in the area that serve migrant
purpose of the focus groups was to use the       and seasonal farmworkers. Charleston,
gathered information to increase awareness       West Virginia, was chosen to get input from
and promote greater participation by rural       organizations serving the Appalachian popu-
communities in the 2010 Census.                  lation. The third site, Jackson, Mississippi,
                                                 was selected to gain input from organiza-
To obtain relevant information to accomplish     tions serving the rural south populations of
this goal, the Census Bureau secured the         Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. In identi-
services of an outside team of professionals     fying participants, the following criteria were



                                                                                                   11
     used:                                              ing input on the following:
      ♦   Partners from geographically diverse ru-      ♦   Reaching and motivating rural residents.
          ral areas.                                    ♦   Identifying rural influencers.
      ♦   Rural organizations serving a diversity of    ♦   Rural information dissemination methods.
          racial/ethnic groups.                         ♦   Effectiveness of promotional materials.
      ♦   Partners from a variety of organizations      ♦   Reading and writing limitations in rural
          including community-based organiza-               communities.
          tions, agricultural extensions/granges,       ♦   Access to technology.
          businesses, local governments, educa-         ♦   Outreach to migrant populations and Tribal
          tional organizations (public schools, col-        Governments.
          lege/universities, adult education, educa-    ♦   Confidentiality.
          tional associations, Head Start, etc.), and
          media.                                        Responses from predetermined open-ended
      ♦   Partners specifically from the following      questions were collected and recorded on flip
          special populations - Colonias, American      chart paper, electronically, and by CD re-
          Indians/Tribal Governments, and mi-           cording. The data was then formatted, ana-
          grant/seasonal farmworkers.                   lyzed, and reported to the Partnership and
                                                        Data Services management team for planning
     Initially, about 500 partners were identified to   purposes for the 2010 Census.
     ultimately obtain the final 24 participants for
     the focus groups.                                  In order to maintain the local flavor and accu-
                                                        racy of the comments provided, this report is
     Methodology                                        written as close as possible to the terminology
     Each Rural Outreach focus group was facili-        and phraseology of the participating groups.
     tated with the same facilitation method and
     with the same questions. With the overall ob-      Contract Support Services
     jective to gather information as it related to     NATEK Incorporated is a small, woman-
     the specific questions, a moderator’s guide        owned professional-services firm established
     was developed to ensure consistency of facili-     in 1994. NATEK was tasked to provide the
     tation at each meeting location. The ques-         U.S. Census Bureau with conference man-
     tions used were specific, focusing on generat-     agement and facilitation support services that




12
      Figure 1 – Sample pages from the
      travel brochure

                 Number of Participants Using
                 Mode of Transportation
     City           Air    Train     Bus      Car
Fresno, CA          3        0        0           3      Figure 2 – Travel for
Charleston, WV      1        0        0           9      participants

Jackson, MS         2        0        0           6


would enhance the overall goals and objec-            Logistical Coordination
tives of the Rural Outreach focus groups.             NATEK coordinated the necessary travel ar-
NATEK used the facilitation services of the           rangements, accommodations, and hotel
International Training Consortium (ITC) to as-        meeting requirements.
sist with achieving these goals.
                                                      The U.S. Census Bureau provided NATEK
The ITC, established in 1993 in Rockville,            with the names and contact information for
Maryland, provides a variety of in-house train-       each of the participants. They were mailed a
ing programs and consulting services.                 confirmation packet which included a letter of



                                                                                                       13
     confirmation, and a detailed travel brochure        for the participants. For the convenience of the
     outlining the background of the focus group,        participants, NATEK reserved the participant’s
     location, date and time, travel policies, next      room and provided confirmation numbers ac-
     steps, a registration and travel preference form,   cordingly.
     and a participation agreement form. Please
     see Figure 1 for sample pages from this travel      In addition to the sleeping room reservations,
     brochure.                                           NATEK coordinated the conference room lay-
                                                         out, catering, setup, and audio-visual needs.
     For those who returned the travel preference
     form and met stated requirements, NATEK             At the conclusion of each focus group a sti-
     made the following arrangements:                    pend check for $50.00 was provided to each
     ♦   Travel (air, train, bus)                        participant. Each participant also submitted an
     ♦   Hotel Accommodations                            expense report at the conclusion of the day.
     ♦   Stipend and Reimbursement Checks                NATEK processed these forms within fifteen
                                                         days after the meeting for expeditious payment
     Figure 2 details the mix of modes of transporta-    to all participants.
     tion to each city. Electronic tickets were used
     when possible and confirmation numbers were         NATEK and ITC generated this comprehensive
     communicated via mail, e-mail, and/or phone.        Final Report of the results of the Rural Out-
     A toll-free phone number was obtained and           reach focus group proceedings. NATEK coor-
     managed by NATEK for participants to ask            dinated the layout, design, and production of
     questions about the focus group as well as any      this report. A copy of the report will be distrib-
     travel or logistical questions.                     uted to each of the participants.


     NATEK researched several hotels in each loca-
     tion to find the best proposed site based on
     accommodations, location convenience, ser-
     vice, and best value.


     Once NATEK contracted with each of the pre-
     ferred hotels, a block of rooms was set aside




14
Summary and Analysis of Individual Focus Groups

Fresno, CA

Agenda
                                                                     Date:
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.      Registration & Continental Breakfast
                                                                     March 26, 2003
8:30 a.m.                  Introductions

8:45 a.m.                  Ground Rules and Housekeeping Items
                                                                     Location:
8:55 a.m.                  Background Information
                                                                     Four Points Sheraton
9:10 a.m.                  Discussion Questions
                                                                     3737 Blackstone Ave
10:10 a.m.                 Fifteen-Minute Break
                                                                     Fresno, CA 93726
10:25 a.m.                 Discussion Questions (cont.)

12:15 p.m.                 Final Remarks
                                                                     Number of
                                                                     Participants:
Participants
                                                                     Six
See Appendix A for a complete list of participating organizations.


Limitations
There were no noted limitations with this session.




                                                                                        15
     Key Findings                                            census process.
     Throughout the proceeding, the focus group          ♦   Little to no computer technology exists in
     maintained an enthusiastic, positive attitude.          most rural homes, and there is limited
     Each participant was open and willing to                Internet access.
     share ideas and suggestions. The following          ♦   The issue of fear and confidentiality play a
     are findings from this session:                         big role in the reluctance of rural people,
     ♦   The best sources for motivating or encour-          Hispanics in particular.
         aging rural residents to respond is through     ♦   The Census Bureau can best communicate
         family, church, and community. It is also           its commitment to confidentiality by promot-
         important to ensure the credibility of confi-       ing the Bureau’s confidentiality statement
         dentiality.                                         regarding Title 13.
     ♦   Solicit more visible support for the census
         by high-level politicians, such as consu-
         lates and mayors.
     ♦   Use more community workers who are key
         influencers and have one-on-one contact
         with families in the community.
     ♦   Provide practical giveaways that can be
         constant reminders of the census and their
         responsibility to participate.
     ♦   In promotional materials, use more images
         with families, migrant workers in agricul-
         tural settings, service providers, and
         trusted community leaders.
     ♦   Customize promotional materials to meet
         language needs and diversity of the local
         community.
     ♦   Utilize national and/or cultural heroes to
         help build a connection to the census with
         which people can identify.
     ♦   It was strongly suggested that efforts to
         build partnerships begin much earlier in the



16
                                                   B. What can organizations or agencies do
 ANALYSIS BY RESEARCH QUESTION
                                                   to motivate residents to respond to the

              Topic #1                             census?
  Reaching and Motivating Residents
                                                   Summary of Comments
A. What organizations or agencies are the
                                                   Here, the group emphasized educating, in-
best sources for motivating or encourag-
                                                   forming, and involving organizations earlier in
ing rural residents to respond to the cen-
                                                   the 2010 Census planning and partnering
sus?
                                                   process. The participants suggested reaching
                                                   out to schools, churches, and community-
Summary of Comments
                                                   based organizations as a means of building
According to the Fresno focus group, the best
                                                   trust for the census process through the advo-
sources for motivating or encouraging rural
                                                   cacy of familiar people, places, and images.
residents to respond is through the family,
                                                   The following are additional suggestions dis-
church, and community. Community-based
                                                   cussed:
organizations, Family Resource Centers and
                                                   ♦   Show results of the last census, to create
services, such as Women, Infants, and Chil-
                                                       incentive to participate, by using specific
dren (WIC) programs and Head Start, to-
                                                       examples of how communities have seen
gether with schools and churches of all de-
                                                       the direct benefits of participation. More
nominations provide meaningful avenues for
                                                       information on the impact of not being
informing and inviting rural and migrant indi-
                                                       counted is needed.
viduals into the census process. Municipali-
                                                   ♦   Focus on personalized approaches in
ties and for-profit organizations were also
                                                       searching out and connecting with rural
identified as good ways to reach rural commu-
                                                       and Hispanic constituents. Demonstrate
nities, as well as having a vested interest in a
                                                       greater genuine cultural sensitivity, knowl-
good census.
                                                       edge, and respect for core family and cul-
                                                       tural values.
                                                   ♦   Conduct Train-the-Trainer sessions on cen-
                                                       sus data and importance of census with
                                                       community-based organization staff so they
                                                       can better communicate the importance of
                                                       the census to their constituents.



                                                                                                      17
     ♦   Work more with youth to get the message          to get the word out about economic benefits
         out to the adults they know. This will pre-      of the census.
         pare the youth to participate in the census
         when they become adults. This could be           D.   Is there anything else you want to say
         incorporated with community service pro-         about this topic?
         grams in the schools.
                                                          Summary of Comments
     C. What vehicles or sources have the                 Internet access is available at local libraries
     greatest impact for delivering a census              and schools. This is a good way to get mes-
     message to the rural community? (i.e.,               sages to youth. Farm owners also use the
     newspapers, radio, flyers, and posters.)             Internet regularly for communication.


     Summary of Comments                                  Involve national organizations earlier, such as
     The group recommended greater use of local           League of United American Citizens (LULAC),
     media, newspapers (in-language), libraries,          California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA),
     Spanish radio, television, and local politicians     Mexican American Legal Defense and Educa-
     (elected and nonelected) who are respected           tion Fund (MALDEF), United Farm Workers
     by the locals. Spanish radio is a great avenue       (UFW), and Hispanic Chambers to stress
     for communicating the census message and             what has been accomplished from past cen-
     motivating rural residents, particularly farm-       suses, and what needs to be done in the next
     workers. Stations could use on-air personali-        census.
     ties, guests (labor members, etc.) to support
     census activities and messages.
                                                                            Topic #2
     Heavy emphasis was placed on building rela-
                                                                        Rural Influencers

     tionships on the grassroots level with persons
     of influence, i.e., teachers, priests, social- and   A.   Who are the major influencers of rural

     medical-service workers. With the support of         residents? (i.e., teachers, community lead-

     these key people in rural areas, there is likely     ers, and radio personalities.)

     to be less resistance about the census. Use
     local election campaign strategies as a model        Summary of Comments
                                                          It was very apparent from the group that much



18
greater efforts should be made to involve peo-      Church leaders are definitely a big influence
ple of the community in the census process.         to rural residents. The churches have a num-
Visible support and encouragement is needed         ber of community outreach activities that
by high-level politicians, i.e., the Mexican        reach youth and farmworkers.
Consulate, mayor. Community workers are
key influencers as they have one-on-one             B. How would these influencers motivate
communication with families. There should           rural residents to respond to the 2010 Cen-
be greater census involvement in children’s         sus?
activities, as well as with grassroots and local
organizations. Participants noted the impor-        Summary of Comments
tance of more census workers and volunteers         The best way to motivate rural residents is to
who “look like us!” (i.e., Hispanic, farmers, ru-   ensure the credibility of confidentiality. The
ral). There was a clear sense that more im-         Census Bureau needs to partner with city and
age diversity is needed in promoting the cen-       national organizations to build trust and credi-
sus, in the form of Cesar Chavez, Martin Lu-        bility at the local level. Invite public officials to
ther King and other heroes and leaders.             communicate via letter writing, town hall meet-
Other strategies include selected television        ings, and community forums to promote cen-
commercials after daily “novellas,” working         sus value and benefit. Educate the influen-
through local medical providers, and involving      cers—when they buy into the census, they
parents through contacts with the schools.          can influence the community to do the same.
Teachers and teacher aides have high credi-         Make sure that census workers are of the
bility among the rural and farmworker popula-       same ethnic and/or cultural background as
tion.                                               the people they serve. It provides a similarity
                                                    that the person can relate to, which also en-
                                                    hances the trust factor.


                                                    C. Is there anything else you want to say
                                                    about this topic?


                                                    Summary of Comments
                                                    There were no additional comments.




                                                                                                            19
                       Topic #3                               cery stores, etc. Also, have exhibits at na-
                   Rural Information                          tional organizations’ conferences.
                Dissemination Methods

     A. What are the most effective methods              B. How can the Census Bureau best util-

     for distributing 2010 Census printed mate-          ize events and activities to promote the

     rials and promotional items to rural com-           2010 Census?

     munities? (i.e., fairs, post offices, and pa-
     rades.)                                             Summary of Comments
                                                         Set up booths and radio remotes at confer-

     Summary of Comments                                 ences staffed with people who can inform and

     The Census Bureau can effectively use the           educate rural residents on the census and its

     following methods to distribute materials:          importance. Continue to provide practical

     ♦   Piggyback on meetings of Neighborhood           “freebies” and giveaways (i.e., bandanas,

         Watch programs to get materials to the          sunscreens, water bottles, “kiddie stuff” – bal-

         community.                                      loons and crowns.) Do not just handout

     ♦   Develop “promotoras” to host neighbor-          printed materials. Spend money on simple

         hood, in-home meetings, swap meets, and         items and giveaways with census messages

         “man on street” interviews by local media.      that people consider functional and would use

     ♦   Simple, short messages on printed materi-       in their daily life, such as potholders, fans, key

         als, picture posters in Laundromats.            chains, and pens.

     ♦   Practical giveaways, i.e., water bottles,
         bandanas, and the eagle insignias, were a       A popular activity in the Census 2000 was the

         real hit in past censuses because they          “Prize Wheel.” After listening to a census

         were a constant reminder of the census          message, etc., participants spin to see what

         and their need to fill out the questionnaire.   prize they get.

     ♦   Include census information in paycheck
         envelopes.                                      C.    Is there anything else you want to say

     ♦   Involve local restaurants and businesses in     about this topic?

         meetings, media events, and activities, with
         prizes as incentives.                           Summary of Comments

     ♦   Participate in radio remotes at schools, gro-   There were no additional comments.




20
                     Topic #4                      B.     What elements (words, depictions,
                 Effectiveness of                  graphics, etc.) or characteristics of promo-
              Promotional Materials
                                                   tional materials will best motivate rural

A.     What should the Census Bureau keep          residents?

in mind as we design these printed promo-
tional materials?                                  Summary of Comments
                                                   Fresno participants placed importance on im-

Summary of Comments                                pressing upon rural and migrant populations

There are some very important points that the      the urgency of getting involved with the cen-

Census Bureau should keep in mind in de-           sus by showing the negative economic impact

signing printed materials. Some of them are:       of under representation on family life, school

♦    Keep the message simple and use fewer         benefits, utilities, etc. Another way to moti-

     words.                                        vate the community is to show jazzy, upbeat,

♦    Avoid pictures of government officials.       hip images which focus on community and

♦    Emphasize more images involving families,     reflect the general youthfulness of the popula-

     migrant families in agricultural settings,    tion (35 and younger). It is key to connect the

     community support organizations, i.e., fire   present to a vision of the future, and empha-

     departments, Women, Infants, and Chil-        size the confidentiality of the information.

     dren (WIC), doctors, teachers, and Family     One of the most important motivators is confi-

     Service Centers.                              dentiality; stress its importance and what the

♦    Use icons/images with which people are        Census Bureau does to maintain confidential-

     familiar in their local areas, i.e., United   ity.

     Farm Workers (UFW), eagle, Caesar
     Chavez, and Virgin de Guadalupe.              C.     What “special-language” needs
                                                   should we address in developing promo-
                                                   tional materials?


                                                   Summary of Comments
                                                   The focus group participants placed strong
                                                   emphasis here on using high impact words
                                                   and phrases, i.e. confidentiality, civil rights,
                                                   citizenship, urgency, important thing to do,



                                                                                                      21
     who gets the money, having a piece of the         Bureau can partner with major corporations
     American pie, and community. It is also im-       like Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, etc. The Census
     portant to recognize the wide variety of His-     Bureau might even develop its own musical
     panic dialects and languages unique to cer-       jingle.
     tain areas, i.e., SpanEnglish, Spanglish, Fili-
     pino, Tagalog, Oaxacamo/Mixteco, Monteco –        E.   Do geographical differences (i.e., Mis-
     Indian language from Mexico. Several Asian        sissippi or Appalachia) influence the effec-
     languages should also be considered, such         tiveness of census outreach materials? If
     as Hmong, Hindi and Vietnamese. One-size-         so, how do these differences influence the
     fits-all language just won’t work in many ar-     effectiveness of census materials?
     eas.
                                                       Summary of Comments
     D.     What type of materials should the          A major area of concern with Hispanics is mi-
     Census Bureau develop to meet these               grant workers and the timing of their move-
     special-language needs?                           ment to other areas of the country. Most no-
                                                       table among these groups are the Mixteccos-
     Summary of Comments                               Oaxano, and winter residents, called snow-
     Special-language needs can be met through         birds. They might be best reached through
     such devices as novellas, pictures with comic     their community leaders, schools, and com-
     characters, entertainers, and sports figures.     munity associations. The Colonias are an-
     People can be reached through concerts,           other area that require special outreach ef-
     sporting events (i.e., boxing, soccer), popular   forts due to language and education barriers.
     ethnic entertainers, MTV, etc. The Census
                                                       F. Is there anything else you want to say
                                                       about this topic?


                                                       Summary of Comments
                                                       There were no additional comments.




22
               Topic #5                           and Train-the-Trainer presentations. Lastly,
     Reading or Writing Limitations               participants suggested that a short video,
                                                  which can be shown or given away, would be
A.   Which organizations serve rural popu-
                                                  a valuable supplement to printed materials.
lations that might have reading and/or writ-
ing limitations?
                                                  C.   What type of printed materials and
                                                  promotional items should the Census Bu-
Summary of Comments
                                                  reau develop to adequately communicate
This group suggested that the media is very
                                                  to populations with limited reading and/or
underutilized and should be tied to every ma-
                                                  writing skills?
jor event to promote the census message of
civic duty and benefits resulting from partici-
                                                  Summary of Comments
pation in the census. In addition, census in-
                                                  Similar to Topic 5, Question B, participants
formation should be included in English as a
                                                  suggested that current popular songs and/or
Second Language (ESL), General Education
                                                  music style that is appropriate for the region
Development (GED), and college and univer-
                                                  or local culture, be incorporated into census
sity adult education curriculum, citizenship
                                                  promotional campaigns. This could also in-
classes, and state literacy programs. Local
                                                  clude music-video combinations. The Census
community volunteers should be solicited and
                                                  Bureau might develop a catchy tune as a
matched (peer-to-peer) to assist residents in
                                                  theme for the 2010 Census. They also sug-
completing the census form.
                                                  gested having a music/song contest to de-
                                                  velop local themes appealing to the area.
B.   What can the Census Bureau do to
make printed materials easier to read and
                                                  D. Is there anything else you want to say
understand?
                                                  about this topic?

Summary of Comments
                                                  Summary of Comments
Printed materials would be less intimidating if
                                                  There were no additional comments.
fewer words and large print (font) size were
used. Another suggestion was to distribute
small flip-chart presentation materials with
relevant pictures and words for both in-home




                                                                                                   23
                     Topic #6                            B.   To what extent do rural residents have
               Access to Technology                      access to the Internet at home?


     A.   To what extent do residents in rural           Summary of Comments
     areas have computers in their homes?                Again, this is highly unlikely due to the factors
                                                         identified in Topic 6, Question A above. Most
     Summary of Comments                                 access, if any, is accomplished through youth
     Because rural and migrant families are gener-       peers and resource centers.
     ally poor and minimally educated, there is little
     to no technology in most homes. Some do             C. To what extent do residents in rural
     not even have homes or telephones, espe-            areas have access to computers outside
     cially migrants. Typically, children and the        the home, such as libraries, public
     younger rural population utilize Family Re-         schools, and work?
     source Centers for accessing computers and
     telecommunications technology.                      Summary of Comments
                                                         Libraries, housing and community centers,
                                                         community-based organizations, and health
                                                         centers provide the greatest access
                                                         to computer technology. In fact, some mi-
                                                         grant areas have access to mobile computer
                                                         labs sponsored by workforce centers, the De-
                                                         partment of Economic Security, and founda-
                                                         tions like the “Delores Huerta” Mobile Center.


                                                         D.   How computer-literate are adult resi-
                                                         dents of rural communities?


                                                         Summary of Comments
                                                         Though the group agreed that the rural com-
                                                         munity is quickly moving into the technology
                                                         and information age, the current literacy and
                                                         usage level is nominal, at best. If any family



24
members are computer literate, it is most           accessing (researching) information in rural
likely the children. Even if one has a system,      areas. Research by computer is primarily
there is little access capability. Most just can-   done by businesses/organizations and stu-
not afford computers and related hardware,          dents. It all depends on the users. Most resi-
software, and service contracts/agreements.         dents, it is agreed, do little accessing on com-
In a broader technology sense, telephones           puters these days.
are still the primary way to communicate in
rural areas.                                        G. In your view, can computers offer a
                                                    reliable means for communicating with ru-
E.      To what extent have computers be-           ral partners in 2010? (i.e., keeping them
come a routine communication source in              abreast of census events, procedures,
rural communities? (i.e., for sending per-          jobs, and, of course, responding to the
sonal messages or for business and other            2010 Census questionnaire.)
communications.)
                                                    Summary of Comments
Summary of Comments                                 Overall, the group felt that there is a clear
At this time, farmers and growers who make          value in utilizing computers for the 2010 Cen-
up an estimated 5% of the rural population are      sus. It was felt that technology should be
the principle users of computer technology as       viewed in the broadest sense of the word, not
routine sources of communication. In the long       just including computers. The Census Bu-
run, cell phone text messaging may become           reau, using computers and other technology,
the next step in rural technology communica-        can identify and communicate to locations
tion.                                               where counts are low, and develop quick
                                                    strategies to increase response. Partners can
F.      To what extent have computers be-           help get participation where response rates
come a routine source for accessing                 are low.
(researching) information in rural commu-
nities?                                             H. Is there anything else you want to say
                                                    about this topic?
Summary of Comments
There were very mixed opinions, ranging from        Summary of Comments
nominal to huge, on the use of computers for        There were no additional comments.



                                                                                                       25
                      Topic #7                          census partners can build trust and accept-
          Migrant Population Partners ONLY              ability within migrant families and communi-
                                                        ties. Migrant camps and United Farm Work-
     A.    How can we strengthen our outreach           ers (UFW) know when and where they will be
     to migrant populations?                            working and can help get information to them.


     Summary of Comments
     Without hesitation, the group insisted that the                     Topic #8
     Census Bureau should begin outreach efforts             Tribal Government Partners ONLY
     now. Begin by sending positive messages
     through existing networks which directly ac-       A.      Based on your experience, what new
     cess migrant workers, i.e., Farm Workers As-       and innovative strategies can we develop
     sociation, and medical service providers.          and implement to enhance our outreach to
     They indicated that it is important to recognize   the American Indian/Alaska Native popula-
     that there is a homeless migrant population        tions through Tribal Governments?
     and the Census Bureau should develop
     strategies to ensure that they are counted.        Summary of Comments
                                                        There was no Tribal Government representa-
     B.    What factors should the Census Bu-           tion.
     reau take into consideration when devel-
     oping outreach strategies for migrant              B.      Is there anything else you want to say
     populations for the 2010 Census?                   about this topic?


     Summary of Comments                                Summary of Comments
     The Census Bureau should begin more effec-         There were no additional comments.
     tive planning and targeting of funding to local
     media outlets and increased funding to com-
     munity-based organizations where grassroots
     efforts can be initiated to begin marketing
     census benefits and processes before mi-
     grants leave home. By accessing farmworker
     associations, migrant camps, and growers,



26
               Topic #9                           B.   Is there anything else you want to say
      How Can the Census Bureau                   about this topic?
        Best Communicate Its
     Commitment to Confidentiality.
                                                  Summary of Comments
A.   How can the Census Bureau best com-          Avoid using consequences of not participating
municate its commitment to confidentiality        as a fear tactic.
to respondents in a way that they can un-
derstand and believe?


Summary of Comments
Incorporate stories and anecdotes in Public
Service Announcements (PSAs.) Promote
the confidentiality statement used in the focus
group to build, and maintain trust, confidence,
and support for the 2010 Census process.
That statement read, “By law, the Census Bu-
reau cannot share information obtained from
the respondents with any individual or agency
including Homeland Security, the IRS, FBI,
law enforcement, or welfare agencies. No
court of law, not even the President of the
United States, can find out individual re-
sponses.” Promote the security message
now regarding census data. The group also
suggested that a videotaped message be pro-
moted as part of an overall census marketing
strategy for the rural areas.




                                                                                                  27
 Summary and Analysis of Individual Focus Groups

Charleston, WV
Agenda
                                                                     Date:
   8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.      Registration & Continental Breakfast
                                                                     April 1, 2003
   8:30 a.m.                  Introductions

   8:45 a.m.                  Ground Rules and Housekeeping Items
                                                                     Location:
   8:55 a.m.                  Background Information
                                                                     Marriott Town Center
   9:10 a.m.                  Discussion Questions
                                                                     200 Lee Street
   10:10 a.m.                 Fifteen-Minute Break
                                                                     Charleston, WV
   10:25 a.m.                 Discussion Questions (cont.)
                                                                     25301
   12:15 p.m.                 Final Remarks


                                                                     Number of
Participants
                                                                     Participants:
See Appendix A for a complete list of participating organizations.
                                                                     Ten
Limitations
There were no noted limitations with this session.




                                                                                       29
     Key Findings                                       ♦   Participate in important civic, Tribal, and
     The Charleston participants developed a vari-          community events that endorse census
     ety of suggestions and recommendations for             goals and objectives. Communicate the
     increasing participation of rural communities          value and benefits gained from inclusion in
     in the 2010 Census. This strategy included             the census count.
     the following ideas:                               ♦   Work through migrant family networks and
     ♦   The best sources for motivating and en-            their schools and employers. Use an edu-
         couraging rural residents are through              cation and relationship-building strategy to
         churches, community-based organizations,           overcome and completely eliminate fear
         resource and referral agencies, and other          from the census-taking process.
         service agencies.                              ♦   The major influencers of migrant rural resi-
     ♦   Start building partnerships and promoting          dents include large farm owners, Farm Bu-
         the census much earlier than was done for          reaus and local agricultural extension
         Census 2000.                                       agents. Recognize the importance of un-
     ♦   Create a more personalized and direct out-         ions as influencers, especially in mines and
         reach process by using state and local poli-       factories.
         ticians and government officials early and     ♦   The most effective methods for distributing
         often through the process.                         2010 Census printed materials and promo-
                                                            tional items to these communities is
                                                            through local county fairs and summer fes-
                                                            tivals, church events, schools, and youth
                                                            activities. Also local hangouts, and live-
                                                            stock and farmers’ markets.
                                                        ♦   The Census Bureau can best utilize events
                                                            and activities to promote the 2010 Census
                                                            by having a booth with staff to greet people
                                                            and hand out promotional items that are
                                                            practical and that one would want to keep
                                                            around, such as hats, T-shirts, and key
                                                            chains.
                                                        ♦   Workers in Departments of Health, Health
                                                            and Human Resources, and Women, In-



30
    fants, and Children (WIC) programs are
    credible in the community and good for
    reaching low-income rural residents.
♦   Promotional materials that will best moti-
    vate rural residents should reflect the rural
    community—tell a story that will make them
    feel needed and valued—making them feel
    they can make a difference.
♦   Only a small percentage of residents in ru-
    ral areas have computers and/or Internet
    service in their homes. However, they do
    have access to computers outside the
    home.
♦   Charleston participants agreed that com-
    puters will provide a reliable means of com-
    munication with partners, in 2010.
♦   Strengthening Census Bureau outreach to
    the migrant population should begin with
    including migrant workers on Complete
    Count Committees.
♦   The best way to access migrant workers
    are through their children, families, schools,
    churches, and through bilingual workers
    and outreach volunteers.




                                                     31
                                                         B. What can organizations or agencies do
      ANALYSIS BY RESEARCH QUESTION
                                                         to motivate residents to respond to the

                   Topic #1                              census?
       Reaching and Motivating Residents
                                                         Summary of Comments
     A. What organizations or agencies are the           Again, the group felt the role of seniors as not
     best sources for motivating or encourag-            only participants but as motivators should not
     ing rural residents to respond to the cen-          be overlooked. Seniors play a vital role in
     sus?                                                motivating the actions of their own family
                                                         members. In the same way, 4H families
     Summary of Comments                                 would equally be important as motivators if
     According to the Charleston focus group, the        they had complete and clear understanding of
     best sources for motivating and encouraging         how the census affects funding for their or-
     rural residents is through churches, commu-         ganizations.
     nity organizations, resource and referral agen-
     cies, Agricultural Extension Services, and ser-     It is helpful for recognized community organi-
     vice programs such as Head Start, Depart-           zations, such as the Rotary Club and the
     ment of Health and Human Resources, 4H              Chamber of Commerce to also buy into the
     Clubs, Girl/Boy Scouts, and other youth or-         census process. Since these types of organi-
     ganizations.                                        zations are always looking for speakers, it
                                                         would be beneficial for someone to make a
     Another major source identified by the group        presentation to the community to familiarize
     are senior centers and programs like “Meals         them and alleviate any issues and/or con-
     on Wheels” which provide services and assis-        cerns. Emphasis was placed on the fact that
     tance to a segment of the community that is         all motivators must have a clear understand-
     typically reluctant to participate in the census.   ing of the census process and believe that it is
     Other outreach sources include local utility        confidential.
     companies, banks, churches, schools, Farm
     Bureaus, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and
     Grange, a local agricultural group.




32
C. What vehicles or sources have the                              Topic #2
greatest impact for delivering a census                       Rural Influencers
message to the rural community? (i.e.,
                                                 A.   Who are the major influencers of rural
newspapers, radio, flyers, and posters.)
                                                 residents? (i.e., teachers, community lead-
                                                 ers, and radio personalities.)
Summary of Comments
The group recommended utilizing radio, the       Summary of Comments
local news channel and newspapers, direct        Religious leaders, fire departments (including
mail with a “freebie,” and having a known        volunteer), county commissioners, local com-
community figure be a spokesperson for the       munity bosses, and large farm owners are
census. Additionally, the church has many        some of the most trusted and influential indi-
avenues for reaching its parishioners, includ-   viduals of rural communities. The Farm Bu-
ing scheduled events, newsletters, and bulle-    reau and local extension agents, typically
tins. County fairs are an excellent draw and     trusted agencies for migrant workers, can
opportunity for reaching individuals in rural    serve as major influencers of migrant workers
communities, as well as church functions and     in rural areas. These agencies can assist mi-
sporting events.                                 grant workers in rural areas to successfully
                                                 participate in the process by helping them
D.   Is there anything else you want to say
                                                 complete forms, for example.
about this topic?

                                                 B. How would these influencers motivate
Summary of Comments
                                                 rural residents to respond to the 2010 Cen-
There were no additional comments.
                                                 sus?


                                                 Summary of Comments
                                                 The group felt that if census staff would go
                                                 door-to-door with an influencer who was a lo-
                                                 cal town hero, pastor, or teacher, it would add
                                                 credibility to the process. These are trusted
                                                 and respected individuals within their commu-
                                                 nity. It would take the government focus
                                                 away from the process and provide more per-



                                                                                                   33
     sonal contact.                                                          Topic #3
                                                                         Rural Information
                                                                      Dissemination Methods
     C.    Is there anything else you want to say
     about this topic?
                                                           A.     What are the most effective methods

     Summary of Comments                                   for distributing 2010 Census printed mate-

     Additional suggestions for the Census Bureau          rials and promotional items to rural com-

     included:                                             munities? (i.e., fairs, post offices, and pa-

     ♦    Recognize the importance of unions, espe-        rades.)

          cially in the mines and factories. Union
          leaders can be important influencers.            Summary of Comments

     ♦    The group also felt that the impact of terror-   The most effective way for the Census Bu-

          ism should not be overlooked. Realize that       reau to distribute its materials to these com-

          because of recent terrorist attacks, the pub-    munities is to get involved in what is going on

          lic may be more suspicious of strangers          in the communities. Attend local fairs and

          and reluctant to divulge personal informa-       summer festivals, churches, and youth

          tion. A fear of “what was in that bag” car-      groups. Also, frequent local hangouts like the

          ried by the census worker was noted.             grocery stores, gas stations, and flea markets.

     ♦    The group further suggested that the Cen-        The Chamber of Commerce is a trusted or-

          sus Bureau gets out and be seen at sport-        ganization in the community and would be a

          ing and other community events for in-           good resource to let everyone know when the

          creased exposure, i.e., the Oscar Mayer          census is coming, what it is, and why it is im-

          Mobile.                                          portant. The local health department, shel-

     ♦    More bilingual census workers in migrant         tered workshops, classes, sporting events

          areas was also a noted need.                     and other area networks are great conduits

     ♦    Emphasize that responding to the census          for information dissemination. Also, schools,

          is “the right thing to do,” or “the American     teachers, and livestock and farmers markets

          thing to do.” Let them know that if they re-     are all good resources for distributing materi-

          spond via mail, they probably will not have      als.

          a census worker come to their home.




34
B.   How can the Census Bureau best util-          C. Is there anything else you want to say
ize events and activities to promote the           about this topic?
2010 Census?
                                                   Summary of Comments
Summary of Comments                                It is important to stress the historical value of
Promotional items are important and they           the census and that it provides pertinent ge-
need to be something that is practical and that    nealogical information on our ancestors. Heri-
an individual would want to keep around for a      tage festivals would be a great event to par-
long time, i.e., hats, T-shirts, and key chains.   ticipate in for this very reason. Workers in
A comment was made that there was not              both Health Departments and Health and Hu-
enough diversity reflected in the “freebies”       man Resources, as well as Women, Infants,
typically given by the census. They said, they     and Children (WIC) programs, are credible in
looked “too waspy.” In selecting “freebies,”       the community and good for reaching low-
look at the rules for the event, i.e., not using   income rural residents.
items unsafe for children, like balloons. Also,
be careful of items that are not “made in
                                                                       Topic #4
America.” For exhibits at festivals, conven-                       Effectiveness of
tions, and other events, have one person at a                   Promotional Materials
booth and one person moving among the
crowd.                                             A.   What should the Census Bureau keep
                                                   in mind as we design these printed promo-
Nonprofits, and county and state govern-           tional materials?
ments, should play a role in communicating
what the census means to them. “How Amer-          Summary of Comments
ica Knows What America Needs” was a good           The Census Bureau should keep in mind the
slogan.                                            following:
                                                   ♦    Less is better. Get to the point, make
                                                        posters colorful with big, easy words, and
                                                        stay away from looking too “government,”
                                                        i.e., too much small black and white print,
                                                        no government seal.
                                                   ♦    Don’t forget what ethnicities are in the



                                                                                                       35
          community, make sure they are repre-          and phrases that convey a message that the
          sented more globally — with different         individuals can relate to are encouraged to be
          races/cultures in the same image.             used.
     ♦    Include patriotic colors and words, i.e.,
          “America,” or a patriotic message like “Do    C.   What “special-language” needs
          your part to help America.”                   should we address in developing promo-
     ♦    Select the sites for poster placement care-   tional materials?
          fully; don’t send Hispanic posters to a
          community with no Hispanics.                  Summary of Comments
                                                        Again, remembering the specific needs and
     B.   What elements (words, depictions,             circumstances of the community, keep all pro-
     graphics, etc.) or characteristics of promo-       motional materials simple, no acronyms, large
     tional materials will best motivate rural          letters, and written at a fifth- or sixth-grade
     residents?                                         reading level.


     Summary of Comments                                D.   What type of materials should the
     For a rural community, posters and printed         Census Bureau develop to meet these
     materials should reflect a rural community. In     special-language needs?
     other words, tell a story. Picture a prosperous
     main street, a nice farm scene, or a farmer        Summary of Comments
     counting his livestock. Make the rural com-        The migrant population has been identified as
     munity feel special, needed, and valued by         one of the most undercounted populations
     making them feel like they can make a differ-      because many of them are not here legally
     ence. Use images of houses and people and          and they view the Census Bureau as just an-
     use money figures (dollar amounts) on the          other government agency to run away from
     value of rural areas on the economy.               and distrust. There are also many dialects of
                                                        Spanish in these areas. A trusted individual
     The Census Bureau must recognize that rural        who can communicate/explain the purposes
     issues and city issues are different. There is     of the census must be identified and selected
     a literacy problem in many rural communities,      to meet this need. The rural community is
     so the Census Bureau must be careful to not        very strong in its values of faith, family and
     be too wordy or abbreviate. Specific words         work. As one of the participants stated, “a



36
picture is worth a thousand words.” A poster     F. Is there anything else you want to say
that captures the strong values in an image is   about this topic?
very important, i.e., family working, going to
church together, a grand father sitting on a     Summary of Comments
rocking chair on the front porch, or a church    There were no additional comments.
picnic. Rural residents need a hook—
something that they will get out of the census
process, such as assistance for children and                    Topic #5
schools, images of family, faith, and work.           Reading or Writing Limitations


E.   Do geographical differences (i.e., Mis-     A.   Which organizations serve rural popu-

sissippi or Appalachia) influence the effec-     lations that might have reading and/or writ-

tiveness of census outreach materials? If        ing limitations?

so, how do these differences influence the
effectiveness of census materials?               Summary of Comments
                                                 The group identified libraries, the welfare of-

Summary of Comments                              fice, extension services, the Housing Author-

Different areas and cultures have different      ity, schools and adult education centers,

interests. In some areas, bumper stickers can    Community Action Agencies, Head Start and

be a vandalism problem because vandals           Smart Start children’s learning centers, senior

take the stickers and put them on places they    centers, churches, homeless shelters, and

do not belong. The materials must fit the        behavioral and mental health groups.

area. It would be a waste of money to invest
in giveaways and not have them match spe-        B.   What can the Census Bureau do to

cial areas of diversity. Make sure to remem-     make printed materials easier to read and

ber that the West Virginia Spanish-speaking      understand?

populations are going to be different from the
southwest Spanish-speaking populations.          Summary of Comments

There are also some workers who start out as     Use color print but also remember some peo-

migrant workers but get jobs in the poultry      ple have trouble reading some colors. Black

farms and tend to stay there and not migrate.    print is a color people can read best. Use col-
                                                 orful background in printed materials but don’t



                                                                                                   37
     make them too busy. Use large print, fewer          D. Is there anything else you want to say
     words, and keep messages short and to the           about this topic?
     point. Do not use all capital letters, it is
     harder to read.                                     Summary of Comments
                                                         There were no additional comments

     C.     What type of printed materials and
     promotional items should the Census Bu-
     reau develop to adequately communicate                              Topic #6
                                                                   Access to Technology
     to populations with limited reading and/or
     writing skills?                                     A.   To what extent do residents in rural
                                                         areas have computers in their homes?
     Summary of Comments
     The participants offered the following sugges-      Summary of Comments
     tions:                                              Responses to this question ranged from 5%
     ♦    Keep the reading level at a fifth- to sixth-   to 50% usage. Most agreed that rural folks
          grade level.                                   who have personal computers (PC) probably
     ♦    Infuse the campaign with a catchy slogan       use them for pleasure and not for business
          or mascot. Hold a contest for both the slo-    and Internet communication purposes. Up to
          gan and the name of the mascot.                25% of rural seniors use computers to com-
     ♦    Design printed materials on colored paper      municate with their grandchildren. Children
          that can be slipped into a pay check enve-     may be the key to PC usage. Computers can
          lope or serve as stand alone materials.        easily be accessed in libraries and schools,
     ♦    Design a calendar that promotes fun facts      and/or purchased from secondary stores.
          about census.
     ♦    Design camera-ready pictures for newslet-
                                                         B.   To what extent do rural residents have
          ters.
                                                         access to the Internet at home?
     ♦    Posters should not be too big—the sam-
          ples are a good size.
                                                         Summary of Comments
     ♦    Employ full-time Partnership Specialists all
                                                         While there was agreement that most people
          the time, not just during decennial. Use
                                                         will probably have computers by the time of
          staff to maintain contact with agencies be-
                                                         the 2010 Census, currently not all rural people
          tween decennials.



38
even have telephones. Therefore, one might         D. How computer-literate are adult resi-
conclude that not everyone is going to have        dents of rural communities?
Internet capability or be able to pay for Inter-
net services even if they have a PC. Some          Summary of Comments

concern was expressed that Internet access         Because of the rapidly changing nature of

may still not be in place in some areas.           technology, hardware, and especially soft-
                                                   ware upgrades, many rural adults and seniors
C.   To what extent do residents in rural          will tend to avoid getting involved with com-
areas have access to computers outside             puters for more than fun purposes. Although
the home, such as libraries, public                some rural adults are computer-literate, they
schools, and work?                                 find the rapidly changing technology rather
                                                   intimidating, as well as the costs associated
Summary of Comments                                with keeping up with new technology and soft-
While the situation appears bleak at the pre-      ware.
sent time, the most hopeful information gener-
ated by the focus group reports that there are     E. To what extent have computers be-

already “one-stop-shops” in Kentucky, sign-up      come a routine communication source in

sheets in local libraries, and grants being        rural communities? (i.e., for sending per-

awarded in senior centers to promote self-         sonal messages or for business and other

paced learning and Internet usage, i.e., e-        communications.)

mailing family members. Things may change
                                                   Summary of Comments
quickly. It was mentioned that close to 100%
                                                   Right now there is little use of computers as a
of the rural population probably have access
                                                   routine source of communication. People pri-
to the Internet outside the home via libraries
                                                   marily rely on phones for daily contact. Peo-
or schools, but only about 5% of them actually
                                                   ple may use them at work on a regular basis,
use these places to access the Internet.
                                                   including farm owners and businesses.




                                                                                                     39
     F. To what extent have computers become              is far too sophisticated for what is available in
     a routine source for accessing                       rural areas in terms of function and software.
     (researching) information in rural commu-            Right now, online census information is not
     nities?                                              compatible- or user-friendly for the average
                                                          data user. Computer support and access
     Summary of Comments                                  should continue to be made available to cen-
     Not all rural people are farmers. Students,          sus partners and organizations. It is time to
     government workers, and businesses are the           get in sync with the rest of the world, espe-
     primary users of computers. For the rest of          cially in rural and remote regions.
     the rural population, there is limited use of cell
     phones, and it is suggested that cell phones         H. Is there anything else you want to say
     may be the only phones around in 2010.               about this topic?
     Those who do not have phones, let alone
     computers, may have cell phones. Some who            Summary of Comments
     live in hollows use computers more than cellu-       There were no additional comments.
     lar or home phones, because of problems get-
     ting signals. This presents a unique chal-
     lenge and opportunity for outreach.                                   Topic #7
                                                               Migrant Population Partners ONLY
     G. In your view, can computers offer a reli-
     able means for communicating with rural              A.    How can we strengthen our outreach
     partners in 2010? (i.e., keeping them                to migrant populations?
     abreast of census events, procedures,
     jobs, and, of course, responding to the              Summary of Comments
     2010 Census questionnaire.)                          Why not include migrant workers on Complete
                                                          Count Committees? The bottom line is that
     Summary of Comments
                                                          all migrant workers, legal and illegal, need to
     Computers will provide a very reliable means
                                                          be counted for economic and funding pur-
     for communication, provided the Census Bu-
                                                          poses. Migrants can be more quickly and re-
     reau “dummies down” its technology to make
                                                          liably reached through their children and fami-
     it more accessible to less powerful computers.
                                                          lies – through schools and churches. They
     It was felt that the Census Bureau technology
                                                          share strong core family and spiritual values.



40
The Census Bureau needs to use more bilin-          noted the value of stressing that census infor-
gual enumerators and census outreach volun-         mation is not shared with other federal agen-
teers. Participants also recommended that           cies and organizations.
the Census Bureau do better outreach
through businesses by targeting and educat-         C. Is there anything else you want to say
ing key employers and first-line supervisors        about this topic?
about census facts, economic benefits, and
other benefits, as well.                            Summary of Comments
                                                    There were no additional comments.
Take advantage of celebrations like “Cinco de
Mayo!” and other ethnically-oriented commu-
nity events.                                                         Topic #8
                                                         Tribal Government Partners ONLY
B.   What factors should the Census Bu-
                                                    A.    Based on your experience, what new
reau take into consideration when devel-
                                                    and innovative strategies can we develop
oping outreach strategies for migrant
                                                    and implement to enhance our outreach to
populations for the 2010 Census?
                                                    the American Indian/Alaska Native popula-
                                                    tions through Tribal Governments?
Summary of Comments
Start accessing minority newspapers and ra-
                                                    Summary of Comments
dio stations, and attend local cultural events
                                                    Contact Tribal leaders through networking re-
where migrant workers may likely attend.
                                                    sources, and arrange to get invited to ceremo-
Educate employers of migrant workers on
                                                    nies and activities (powwows) on the reserva-
confidentiality laws related to federal and law-
                                                    tion at the Chief’s request. Prepare simple
enforcement inter-agency communication
                                                    promotional materials, posters, and short
regulations. Locating, educating, and partner-
                                                    blurbs describing census benefits, value, etc.
ing with bilingual supervisors will help to build
                                                    Use these materials to educate tribal mem-
trust and gain greater access to migrant em-
                                                    bers about their free educational, health, and
ployees and their friends. It is important to
                                                    other benefits available to the tribe and indi-
network through people at the grassroots
                                                    viduals as a result of their inclusion in the
level, and emphasize confidentiality more in
                                                    2010 Census. Most tribes have Web sites
promotional materials. Participants also



                                                                                                      41
     and newsletters that can include census promo-     the legal penalties for breach of confidentiality
     tional information and explain why tribes should   need to be communicated to all census partici-
     participate.                                       pants – workers and community. If necessary,
                                                        cite stories of the consequences of past viola-
     B.   Is there anything else you want to say        tions as proof of the seriousness of this man-
     about this topic?                                  date. An effective strategy might be to partner
                                                        with powerful local leaders to make public an-
     Summary of Comments                                nouncements, presentations, and even accom-
     It is not what we do, but the way we do what we    pany census workers on house-to-house con-
     do. It is important to approach the American       tacts. Inform people of the fact that paid cen-
     Indian and, for that matter, all Americans, with   sus workers go through thorough background
     respect and dignity. Treating the American In-     checks and clearances before going out in the
     dian as a fellow human being, and treating         field. Hire credible local workers, i.e., don’t hire
     them respectfully, will demonstrate how a part-    the town gossip. Use a list of census do’s and
     nership works. This will go a long way toward      don’ts to reinforce confidentiality. Get the
     allaying their fears about the government, put-    President of the United States to endorse the
     ting them in a more open, receptive position to    census and reinforce confidentiality with the
     participating in 2010 Census activities.           fact that even he cannot get the data.


                                                        B.   Is there anything else you want to say
                     Topic #9                           about this topic?
            How Can the Census Bureau
               Best Communicate Its
           Commitment to Confidentiality                Summary of Comments
                                                        The Census Bureau should partner with state

     A.   How can the Census Bureau best com-           offices and senior business leaders. Empha-

     municate its commitment to confidentiality         size the personal touch, not the government’s

     to respondents in a way that they can un-          heavy hand, when dealing with the community

     derstand and believe?                              on 2010 Census matters. Keep these partner-
                                                        ships ongoing, not just during the census.

     Summary of Comments                                Have full-time Partnership Specialists working

     All agreed that the strong, biting language of     all the time, not just during the census. Tie this
                                                        to the new, stronger Health Insurance Premium



42
Payments System (HIPPS) health information
confidentiality regulations. Continue to pro-
vide practical, meaningful giveaways (like cal-
endars) that provide factual information, as
well as personal benefits to recipients. En-
courage the Census Bureau to provide finan-
cial support to organizations for census out-
reach activities.




                                                  43
Summary and Analysis of Individual Focus Groups

Jackson, MS
Agenda

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.      Registration & Continental Breakfast
                                                                     Date:
8:30 a.m.                  Introductions
                                                                     April 2, 2003
8:45 a.m.                  Ground Rules and Housekeeping Items

8:55 a.m.                  Background Information
                                                                     Location:
9:10 a.m.                  Discussion Questions
                                                                     Crowne Plaza
10:10 a.m.                 Fifteen-Minute Break
                                                                     200 East Amite Street
10:25 a.m.                 Discussion Questions (cont.)              Jackson, MS 39201
12:15 p.m.                 Final Remarks

                                                                     Number of
                                                                     Participants:
Participants
See Appendix A for a complete list of participating organizations.   Eight

Limitations
There were no noted limitations with this session.




                                                                                         45
     Key Findings                                             government officials in highly visible ways
     Discussion among the Jackson participants                to promote trust, credibility, and
     resulted in the following key findings:                  believability in the 2010 Census process.
     ♦   The participants stressed the need for the       ♦   Enlist service providers to take census in-
         Census Bureau to build stronger                      formation with them as they make commu-
         relationships early in the process, specifi-         nity and/or home visits.
         cally with grassroots organizations. These       ♦   The best sources of influence are local
         and other existing networks are excellent            leaders who people trust.
         avenues to conduct outreach efforts to rural     ♦   Complete Count Committees work well as
         and migrant populations.                             influencers by providing a good cross-
     ♦   When developing outreach efforts and ma-             section of participants.
         terials, consider featuring a national or cul-   ♦   Effective methods for communicating 2010
         tural figure to help the rural population            Census printed materials and promotional
         identify with the census message. Posters            items to rural communities include fairs,
         and materials need to be written in simplis-         flea markets, sporting events and pro-
         tic language using relevant pictures to get          grams, schools, and other events where
         the point across. Incorporate ideas about            people gather.
         the core values of the people such as relig-     ♦   While designing printed promotional materi-
         ion, family, and tribal values.                      als, the Census Bureau should remember
     ♦   It is extremely important to involve religious       to keep wording at a fifth- or sixth-grade
         leaders, school systems, and high-level              level, use few words, avoid government
                                                              jargon, and match message/images to
                                                              each audience.
                                                          ♦   Special language needs should be ad-
                                                              dressed in developing promotional materi-
                                                              als by using phrases or images relevant to
                                                              southern culture, more visual images,
                                                              fewer words, and more video and audio
                                                              mediums.
                                                          ♦   In terms of access to technology, a very
                                                              limited number of rural residents have com-
                                                              puters or Internet service in their homes.



46
♦   The Census Bureau must develop creative
    ways to overcome fear associated with the
    false beliefs of intrusion from law enforce-
    ment and other government agencies, es-
    pecially in the Colonias.
♦   Language, trust, and credibility are major
    issues and/or barriers between the Census
    Bureau and the migrant population.
♦   The Census Bureau should communicate
    its commitment to confidentiality in simple,
    clear language, much like the confidential-
    ity statement read during the focus group.
♦   The census questionnaire should be
    shorter which would make people more re-
    ceptive to responding.




                                                   47
                                                      ♦   Get ministers involved early-on, with advo-
     ANALYSIS BY RESEARCH QUESTION
                                                          cacy, from their pulpits to promote trust and

                   Topic #1                               reduce apprehension and anxiety toward
       Reaching and Motivating Residents                  the census process. Participants sug-
                                                          gested that religious organizations sched-
     A. What organizations or agencies are the            ule and promote “Census Sunday.”
     best sources for motivating or encourag-         ♦   Encourage public meetings, forums, and
     ing rural residents to respond to the cen-           Neighborhood Improvement Associations.
     sus?                                                 Take the media and census message out
                                                          to the community.
     Summary of Comments                              ♦   Build early connections with high-level con-
     Strong emphasis was placed on building               gressional and statewide leaders, as well
     positive grassroots relationships with               as school districts through their trustees in
     churches, schools, colleges, and universities.       forming public policy regarding participation
     Focus was on networking with fraternities            in the census. Congressional leaders can
     and sororities, along with city and county           have a census kick-off press conference.
     government agencies, and Agricultural Ex-        ♦   Circulate informational packets throughout
     tension Services. Also listed were family            the schools for public awareness purposes
     health services, medical and mental health           and to reduce fear and misunderstanding
     services, NAACP, Southern Christian                  about the census process.
     League, Volunteers in Service to America         ♦   Utilize the radio, using recognized individu-
     (VISTA), Housing Authorities, Community              als to add credibility in promoting the 2010
     Action Agencies, Head Start centers, and             Census. Government officials could do on-
     human services.                                      air PSAs.
                                                      ♦   Use community volunteers to knock on
     B. What can organizations or agencies do             doors and educate people about census,
     to motivate residents to respond to the              as well as build trust.
     census?


     Summary of Comments
     Jackson participants discussed the following
     ideas in response to this question:



48
C. What vehicles or sources have the                awareness and understanding. The group
greatest impact for delivering a census             strongly emphasized the need and impor-
message to the rural community? (i.e.,              tance for improving trust in historically-
newspapers, radio, flyers, and posters.)            undercounted areas. There appears to be a
                                                    significant distrust of the government and the
Summary of Comments                                 U.S. Census Bureau. This can be overcome
The group’s strongest recommendation was            through culturally appropriate and targeted
the use of the census calendar giveaway.            promotion. The first line of approach is
This could include key census facts and sig-        through the religious organizations.
nificant dates. Participants also suggested
more practical, functional giveaways like high-     Significant discussion centered around the
lighters, letter openers, fans, and stress balls.   assertion that the Local Development Districts
The group advocated giveaways to home-              were a primary source and reason why past
makers and businesses alike.                        census efforts failed in the rural areas of Mis-
                                                    sissippi. Apparently many enumerators had
They felt that having government officials par-     inadequate maps, did not know where to go,
ticipating in door-to-door neighborhood cam-        and, in enough cases, failed to make agreed
paigns was important. Another suggestion            appointments. As a result, many people
was to enlist service providers to take census      formed negative opinions about the Census
information with them as they make home/            Bureau. Small towns need help updating
community visits. Conduct grassroots net-           maps so the census will have more accurate
working through faith-based and neighbor-           addresses. The group expressed it is impor-
hood groups, co-op classes, shopping cen-           tant to enhance local planning and develop-
ters, and Chambers of Commerce. Use cul-            ment districts. Planning committees need to
turally appropriate television news spots with      be more tuned-in to community needs, cultur-
local people where possible.                        ally sensitive, equipped with the right informa-
                                                    tion and maps, better trained, and connected
D. Is there anything else you want to say           to people. They need to build trust – it is the
about this topic?                                   most critical issue and need.


Summary of Comments
Success of the census depends on public



                                                                                                       49
                       Topic #2                          of outreach. Trainers should have good peo-
                   Rural Influencers                     ple skills and represent a good cross-section
                                                         of the community’s diversity. Emphasis was
     A.   Who are the major influencers of rural         given to working as one team. Complete
     residents? (i.e., teachers, community lead-         Count Committees worked well as influencers
     ers, and radio personalities.)                      and provided a good cross-section of commu-
                                                         nity leaders and a good comfort zone for the
     Summary of Comments                                 community. Be sure to include new people in
     Local leaders who people trust are the best         the community such as Hispanics. Use the
     source of influence. Key rural influencers are      trust in local leaders to educate and build trust
     teachers, doctors, priests and ministers,           in community, making participation a personal
     homemakers, 4-H Clubs, extension services,          issue.
     social service workers, senior citizen organi-
     zations, Community Action Agencies and              C. Is there anything else you want to say
     Head Start centers, nutritional centers (Meals      about this topic?
     on Wheels, Stew Pot, etc.) and health-care
     providers, Area Administration on Aging, and        Summary of Comments
     local transportation programs. It was strongly      There were no additional comments.
     encouraged that information should not be
     just dropped off but that this activity should be
     conducted by people familiar and/or known to
     those individuals being served. This will go a
     long way toward promoting positive, trusting,
     credible relationships.


     B. How would these influencers motivate
     rural residents to respond to the 2010 Cen-
     sus?


     Summary of Comments
     It is important to provide training early for key
     people on effective methods and techniques



50
                 Topic #3                          Plug into local activities and organizations and
             Rural Information                     get key leaders within those organizations on
          Dissemination Methods
                                                   the team.

A. What are the most effective methods
for distributing 2010 Census printed mate-         Involve the Elders in the Choctaw Nation and

rials and promotional items to rural com-          invite them to staff the booth at the Choctaw

munities? (i.e., fairs, post offices, and pa-      Fair. This, and other activities like it, will posi-

rades.)                                            tively influence people to participate in the
                                                   census. Events are a good place for calen-

Summary of Comments                                dars and giveaways, too.

The group reemphasized the need to start
promotion early. Tie into important gathering      C.   Is there anything else you want to say

places related to tourism, i.e. fairs, flea mar-   about this topic?

kets, sporting events and programs. Use
schools and events where people gather.            Summary of Comments

Use Memoranda of Understanding with or-            There were no additional comments.

ganizations, i.e., Mississippi Action for Com-
munity Education, Jubilee Jam, and Choctaw
Fair. Also use 4-H Clubs, and local Agricul-                          Topic #4
                                                                  Effectiveness of
tural Extension Services.
                                                               Promotional Materials

B. How can the Census Bureau best util-            A.   What should the Census Bureau keep
ize events and activities to promote the           in mind as we design these printed promo-
2010 Census?                                       tional materials?


Summary of Comments                                Summary of Comments
Jackson participants suggested participating       Keep literature simple, shorter in length,
in church programs, promoting the census in        reader friendly, and matched to each audi-
various newsletters, and attending local activi-   ence. Avoid frightening or intimidating people
ties where visibility can promote trust and a      with government jargon and names. Strive for
more personal touch with the community.            more diversity on printed materials. Target




                                                                                                          51
     the materials to the culture. Keep the lan-             C.   What “special-language” needs
     guage at a fifth- or sixth-grade reading level.         should we address in developing promo-
                                                             tional materials?
     B.   What elements (words, depictions,
     graphics, etc.) or characteristics of promo-            Summary of Comments
     tional materials will best motivate rural               Participants suggested using the phrase or
     residents?                                              image of “People helping people.” Use more
                                                             southern phrases or terms such as “y’all.” Tie
     Summary of Comments                                     in cultural diversity of the South — Spanish,
     Focus on undercounted areas, using targeted             Asian, and American Indian. Use more per-
     pieces with images and scenarios which ex-              sonal contact or verbal means for literacy
     plain or depict how you can benefit from the            challenges. In the Colonias, because of the
     census. Use more effective words, like “more            limited use of English, informal sign language
     funds for education” . . . “y’all fill it out!” . . .   and gestures are useful in communicating
     “you can win!” . . . “generations are counting          with locals.
     on you” . . . “Thank you!” Portray images and
     scenes depicting southern language and hos-             D.   What type of materials should the
     pitality. For example, use a picture of some-           Census Bureau develop to meet these
     one being helped filling out the census form,           special-language needs?
     i.e. a teen helping an elderly person. Send a
     thank-you card to every household and part-             Summary of Comments
     ner after the decennial.                                Match language and word usage to specific
                                                             target audiences or groups. Promote the cen-
                                                             sus in movie theater previews, radio spots,
                                                             highway bulletin boards. Use more visual im-
                                                             ages on fact sheets which are rarely read.
                                                             Play video or audio tapes in malls, medical
                                                             offices, etc.




52
E.   Do geographical differences (i.e., Mis-        nias. Flyers and other printed materials
sissippi or Appalachia) influence the effec-        should be in simple, clear Spanish.
tiveness of census outreach materials? If
so, how do these differences influence the          F. Is there anything else you want to say
effectiveness of census materials?                  about this topic?


Summary of Comments                                 Summary of Comments
The group felt that geographical differences        There were no additional comments.
are important. There is high poverty, illiteracy,
and a large minority population on the Missis-
sippi Delta. There is also high distrust in the                       Topic #5
government. It is important to promote early
                                                            Reading or Writing Limitations

involvement with churches, community cen-
                                                    A.      Which organizations serve rural popu-
ters, workforce commissions, schools, busi-
                                                    lations that might have reading and/or writ-
nesses, companies, and local universities.
                                                    ing limitations?

The key is education and timing. Form part-
                                                    Summary of Comments
nerships with congressmen, civic and church
                                                    Jackson participants mentioned the following
leaders, local employers, businesses, and
                                                    ideas in response to this question: Governor’s
schools. Some other suggestions included
                                                    statewide literacy program, Volunteers in Ser-
conducting door-to-door outreach, printing
                                                    vice to America (VISTA), General Education
flyers in Spanish, and including census infor-
                                                    Development (GED) programs, adult educa-
mation with paychecks.
                                                    tion programs in school districts, Community
                                                    Action and Social Service Agencies, and
For Colonias, focus outreach through the
                                                    Head Start programs. All serve rural popula-
Texas Workforce Commission. Community
                                                    tions with limited reading and writing capabili-
centers are also credible and good avenues
                                                    ties.
for outreach and building trust. Schools,
churches, and Community Action Programs
are other good resources. Door-to-door out-
reach through social workers and neighbor-
hood associations is ineffective in the Colo-



                                                                                                       53
     B.   What can the Census Bureau do to                            Topic #6
     make printed materials easier to read and                  Access to Technology
     understand?
                                                     A.   To what extent do residents in rural
                                                     areas have computers in their homes?
     Summary of Comments
     The group suggested that census printed ma-
                                                     Summary of Comments
     terial be simple and relevant to community
                                                     Participants felt that a very limited number of
     needs and cultural settings.
                                                     rural residents have computers in their
                                                     homes. There is growth in the numbers of
     C.   What type of printed materials and
                                                     PCs in the home, but still limited access to the
     promotional items should the Census Bu-
                                                     Internet. There will probably be little progress
     reau develop to adequately communicate
                                                     in technology in homes of rural residents by
     to populations with limited reading and/or
                                                     2010.
     writing skills?

                                                     B.   To what extent do rural residents have
     Summary of Comments
                                                     access to the Internet at home?
     Develop interesting and relevant audio-visual
     informational pieces and presentations – re-
                                                     Summary of Comments
     flect diversity in these materials.
                                                     Again, there is very limited use. Those who
                                                     can afford computers may not have Internet
     D. Is there anything else you want to say
                                                     access. In some places, Internet service is
     about this topic?
                                                     not available at this time. There are no great
                                                     incentives to use the Internet at this time.
     Summary of Comments
                                                     More people may have access by 2010, but
     There were no additional comments.
                                                     access may also add to distrust
                                                     (confidentiality).




54
C. To what extent do residents in rural             E.     To what extent have computers be-
areas have access to computers outside              come a routine communication source in
the home, such as libraries, public                 rural communities? (i.e., for sending per-
schools, and work?                                  sonal messages or for business and other
                                                    communications.)
Summary of Comments
Participants held somewhat of a more optimis-       Summary of Comments
tic view with regard to computer access out-        Community Action Agencies and Head Start
side the home. There is the perception that         centers are beginning to mandate use of com-
one might utilize computer technology outside       puter technology. (Some American Indian
“my” home ,“if I get help,” “if I see the value,”   tribes have PCs in their homes.) Computer
and “if I have the time.” Currently, computers      access remains very limited for personal use.
are available in most local government of-          Even businesses have limited computer ac-
fices, libraries, community-based organiza-         cess and use.
tions, university computer labs, parent cen-
ters, churches, and Mississippi Action for          F.     To what extent have computers be-
Community Education (MACE).                         come a routine source for accessing
                                                    (researching) information in rural commu-
D.   How computer-literate are adult resi-          nities?
dents of rural communities?
                                                    Summary of Comments
Summary of Comments                                 There is a growing presence of computers
Most adult residents of rural communities are       being used for access and research in such
computer-illiterate, but parents do gather at       areas and places as school districts, parent-
schools where there is encouragement to use         ing centers, video-conferencing centers, tech-
PCs, like in Head Start centers. Adults in ru-      nology prep labs in magnet schools, and
ral areas are beginning to show interest in us-     MACE affiliates. Religious organizations are
ing a computer when they are shown how to           becoming a safe, convenient source for rural
use it by a person they trust at a place they       people to gain access to computer technol-
can trust. Technology is still in its infancy       ogy.
stage in most rural areas.




                                                                                                     55
     G. In your view, can computers offer a           H. Is there anything else you want to say
     reliable means for communicating with ru-        about this topic?
     ral partners in 2010? (i.e., keeping them
     abreast of census events, procedures,            Summary of Comments
     jobs, and, of course, responding to the          There were no additional comments.
     2010 Census questionnaire.)


     Summary of Comments                                               Topic #7
     Participants indicated that yes, computers can        Migrant Population Partners ONLY
     offer a reliable means for communicating with
                                                      A.    How can we strengthen our outreach
     rural partners in 2010. Some rural partners,
                                                      to migrant populations?
     such as Workforce Incentive Network (WIN),
     have PC Internet access and networking ca-
                                                      Summary of Comments
     pability which are statewide. In the Colonias,
                                                      In the Colonias, especially, we must develop
     there are computers in the high schools, and
                                                      creative ways to overcome fears associated
     a few longtime residents have them. On the
                                                      with the false beliefs of Homeland Security
     Choctaw reservation, PCs are available in
                                                      intrusion and other law-enforcement con-
     agencies and most families have a PC at
                                                      cerns. There is a fear of losing children and
     home.
                                                      jobs. The Census Bureau needs to partner
                                                      with churches (all denominations), Community
                                                      Action Programs, Hispanic outreach organiza-
                                                      tions, and benevolent foundations to reach
                                                      undocumented Hispanics, among others, as
                                                      well as to help alleviate fears. Participants
                                                      suggested partnering with United Way to help
                                                      reach migrants. There are very few migrant
                                                      workers in Mississippi, and most are in con-
                                                      struction. It would also help if the Immigration
                                                      and Naturalization Service (INS) would pro-
                                                      mote that it has no relationship with the Cen-
                                                      sus Bureau.




56
B.   What factors should the Census Bu-                            Topic #8
reau take into consideration when devel-               Tribal Government Partners ONLY
oping outreach strategies for migrant
                                                  A.    Based on your experience, what new
populations for the 2010 Census?
                                                  and innovative strategies can we develop
                                                  and implement to enhance our outreach to
Summary of Comments
                                                  the American Indian/Alaska Native popula-
Language is a major issue and barrier be-
                                                  tions through Tribal Governments?
tween the Census Bureau and the migrant
population. By using English and Spanish
                                                  Summary of Comments
interpreters, bilingual census workers and vol-
                                                  Many good ideas for reaching American Indi-
unteers, better communication, understand-
                                                  ans were generated from the focus group dis-
ing, and trust can be generated between the
                                                  cussion in Jackson. The primary focus was
Census Bureau and the migrant community.
                                                  getting the Tribal Chief, Elders, and Tribal
One might also consider reaching migrants
                                                  council members directly involved in writing
and those in the Colonias through such impor-
                                                  letters and advocating census support and
tant and/or influential heroes as: priests, so-
                                                  participation. Greater emphasis needs to be
cial workers, Caesar Chavez, Oscar de la
                                                  placed on images relevant and specific to
Hoya and Pudge Rodriguez (sports), and Ju-
                                                  American Indian populations. Poster images
lio Iglesias (entertainment). Trust and credi-
                                                  have a strong, lasting effect on viewers and
bility are major factors. Promotional materials
                                                  listeners. Care should be taken in construct-
in Spanish are important in the Colonias.
                                                  ing relevant, meaningful images on printed
                                                  materials. This might include sports figures
C. Is there anything else you want to say
                                                  with emphasis placed on promoting school
about this topic?
                                                  and pride. Images of high school sports
                                                  teams, such as basketball and football would
Summary of Comments
                                                  be well-received. Suggestions were made to
There were no additional comments.
                                                  partner with gaming industry facilities to pro-
                                                  mote and provide census-related activities,
                                                  i.e., posters, billboards, and training sites.
                                                  Another suggestion was for the Chief to write
                                                  a letter to all Tribal members regarding




                                                                                                    57
     “Census Awareness Day” or something like it.      to call local authorities (mayor’s office, court-
     Printed materials do not have to be tribe- or     house, etc.) for verification of census workers.
     reservation-specific. They do need to be rele-
     vant to Tribal issues and concerns.               B.   Is there anything else you want to say
                                                       about this topic?
     B.   Is there anything else you want to say
     about this topic?                                 Summary of Comments
                                                       There were no additional comments.
     Summary of Comments
     There were no additional comments.




                    Topic #9
           How Can the Census Bureau
              Best Communicate Its
          Commitment to Confidentiality

     A.   How can the Census Bureau best com-
     municate its commitment to confidentiality
     to respondents in a way that they can un-
     derstand and believe?


     Summary of Comments
     Explain the regulations in simple, clear lan-
     guage, just like the paragraph about confiden-
     tiality introduced in this focus group proceed-
     ing. Consider placing confidentiality informa-
     tion and statements in local government of-
     fices. It would be helpful for workers to have
     cards (like business cards) with phone num-
     bers so people may call if they want to verify
     them as census workers. Encourage people




58
Conclusions and Recommendations
The three focus group sessions on rural out-            sensitivity, knowledge, and respect for core
reach produced many ideas on how to en-                 family and cultural values.
hance previous outreach strategies, and cre-        ♦   Make a special effort to reach chil-
ate new methods of increasing awareness                 dren/youth, immigrants, migrant farmwork-
and promotion of the 2010 Census in rural               ers, and the aged through innovative pro-
communities across the country. The focus               grams and activities targeted at these
groups, held in three different parts of the            unique populations. The role of seniors as
country and with a wide cross section of                not only participants, but as motivators,
groups/organizations, frequently offered the            should not be overlooked.
same or similar ideas and recommendations           ♦   Develop educational curriculum for schools,
to the Census Bureau for more effective out-            so children grow up learning about and un-
reach to rural populations.                             derstanding the census. When they reach
                                                        adulthood, they will trust the census be-
                     Topic #1                           cause they learned about it at a young age.

     How to Reach and Motivate Rural                    Young people are also good at educating

    Residents to Respond to the Census                  adults about the census and encouraging
                                                        their participation in it.

♦   Become more aware of the variety of di-         ♦   Include census curriculum in adult educa-

    verse communities within rural populations.         tion, General Education Development

    Ensure that Partnership Specialists truly           (GED) and English as a Second Language

    represent the communities in which they             (ESL) classes.

    serve.                                          ♦   Begin outreach and communication efforts

♦   Enlist a nationally- or culturally-respected        no later than 2005. Contact partners annu-

    hero to explain the strict confidentiality of       ally, starting now, to remind them of up-

    the census. This message may be more                coming activities, so they can build their

    powerful coming from a nongovernment                network of volunteers early-on. Strive to

    figure that people already trust and admire.        develop more partnerships in grassroots

♦   There should be more focus on personal-             organizations, like churches and schools.

    ized approaches in searching out and con-           A large network of partners will yield

    necting with rural and Hispanic constitu-           greater participation in 2010. Current part-

    ents. Demonstrate greater genuine cultural          ners are your best recruiters. Help them
                                                        set goals for signing up other rural leaders



                                                                                                       59
         in their region to become partners with the         undercounted areas. The first line of ap-
         Census Bureau.                                      proach is through the faith community. Dis-
     ♦   Build relationships with existing community         trust can be overcome through culturally-
         organizations and programs in rural areas,          appropriate and targeted promotion.
         such as Community Action Programs,              ♦   Expand use of local media, in-language
         Councils on Aging, Head Start, 4-H Club,            newspapers and radio, television, and local
         Social Services, and Agricultural Extension         politicians who are respected by the com-
         Services. Other sources that are recog-             munity, for having the greatest impact in
         nized in the rural community and good for           delivering census messages.
         outreach include municipalities, for-profit     ♦   Build early connections with high-level con-
         organizations, civic organizations like the         gressional and statewide leaders, as well
         Rotary Club, fraternities and sororities,           as school districts through their trustees in
         Chambers of Commerce, and service pro-              forming public policies regarding participa-
         viders. Service providers are especially            tion in the census. Encourage congres-
         important because they can take census              sional leaders to have a kick-off press con-
         information with them, as they make                 ference.
         home/community visits.                          ♦   Use local election campaign strategies as a
     ♦   Involve national organizations earlier, such        model for communicating the economic
         as League of United American Citizens               benefits of the census.
         (LULAC), California Rural Legal Assistance      ♦   Use “freebies” or giveaways, especially
         (CRLA), Mexican American Legal Defense              more practical, functional items like high-
         and Education Fund (MALDEF), United                 lighters, calendars, letter openers, fans,
         Farm Workers (UFW), and Hispanic Cham-              stress balls, and water bottles, with census
         bers of Commerce, to stress what has                printed messages.
         been accomplished from past censuses,           ♦   Conduct Train-the-Trainer sessions. Start
         and what needs to be done in the next cen-          with rural leaders, who can then educate
         sus.                                                their network of volunteers about census
     ♦   Success of the census depends on public             goals, procedures, talking points, etc.
         awareness and understanding. The partici-       ♦   Provide Train-the-Trainer services for part-
         pants strongly emphasized the need and              ners, so they can effectively communicate
         importance of improving trust in historically       the importance of participating in the cen-




60
    sus, and share, through actual examples,         ♦   Greater efforts should be made to involve
    the real benefits received as a direct result        people of the community in the census
    of participation. More information on the            process. Visible support and encourage-
    impact of not being counted is also needed.          ment is needed by high-level politicians,
♦   The best way to motivate rural residents is          i.e., the Mexican Consulate or mayor.
    to ensure the credibility of confidentiality         Other rural influencers include community
    and census data.                                     workers (have one-on-one communication
                                                         with families), teachers and teacher aides,
                     Topic #2                            church leaders, firemen, local community

      Identifying Major Influencers of                   bosses, large farm owners, Farm Bureau

                Rural Residents                          and local extension agents, and health care
                                                         workers (doctors, nurses, home health,

♦   Communicate immediately and directly with            etc.).

    rural leaders and their communities about        ♦   Complete Count Committees worked well

    concerns and fears many illegal immigrants           as influencers, providing a good cross-

    have regarding the Office of Homeland Se-            section of community diversity. They

    curity, the IRS, and other law enforcement           should be renewed for 2010, ensuring the

    agencies. These rural leaders include, for           inclusion of new community residents, and

    example, priests/ministers, teachers, social         using trusted local leaders to educate and

    workers, and medical workers.                        build trust.

♦   These influencers can best motivate rural
    residents by building credibility at the local                         Topic #3
    level via letter writing campaigns by public         Effective Methods for Disseminating
    officials, town hall meetings, and commu-                     Information/Materials to
    nity forums to promote the value and bene-                          Rural Residents
    fits of the census.
♦   Training key community influencers on            ♦   Expand utilization of radio, television, and
    methods and techniques for reaching out to           print media in designing and disseminating
    people, and on the value and benefits of             positive messages to rural communities.
    the census, will make them more effective        ♦   Encourage local businesses to promote
    as census ambassadors.                               census participation in their commercials




                                                                                                        61
         and advertisements.                             ♦   Giveaways should be practical. Gear ma-
     ♦   Request support from nationally- or cultur-         terials to reach the heart of the culture, tra-
         ally-recognized heroes to convey the cen-           dition, and needs of the rural population.
         sus message. People will trust the census       ♦   Create educational tools as part of market-
         more if there is a spokesperson they al-            ing efforts. Teaching people about the cen-
         ready trust giving the message.                     sus and how it can benefit (or hurt) their
     ♦   Utilize familiar images from culture, sports,       community is key in building trust and in-
         and entertainment, to create a connection           creasing participation in 2010.
         to census goals and economic value to ru-
         ral communities.                                                     Topic #4
     ♦   Utilize resources where people within the       Effectiveness of Promotional Materials
         community go to receive services: family              How to Design Effective Printed
         and social services organizations, Head
                                                                   Promotional Materials for
         Start, Hospice care, etc.
                                                                       Rural Populations
     ♦   Encourage rural leaders to work with com-
         munity committees on special event plan-
                                                         ♦   The 2010 Census posters and marketing
         ning. These events might include sporting
                                                             materials should be more culturally diverse
         events, festivals, and parades. Census
                                                             and reader-friendly. Instead of creating
         Bureau Partnership Specialists should par-
                                                             multiple posters with one specific picture on
         ticipate in these events by staffing booths,
                                                             it, develop a collage of pictures to repre-
         sponsoring a float in a parade, passing out
                                                             sent the wide variety of cultures in the
         promotional items and flyers. Even resi-
                                                             United States. Diverse communities will
         dents living in remote rural areas attend
                                                             identify with the poster because they will
         some of these special community events.
                                                             not only see “themselves” represented, but
     ♦   Piggyback on existing meetings, like
                                                             many other cultures. This concept also
         Neighborhood Watch, identify “promotoras”
                                                             gives the public one image (the collage)
         to host neighborhood in-home meetings,
                                                             that they associate with the 2010 Census,
         and include census information in pay-
                                                             as they do with the logo.
         check envelopes. Promote the census at
                                                         ♦   Keep the language or message simple and
         flea markets, farmers’ markets, religious
                                                             at a fifth- or sixth-grade reading level.
         organizations, local extension services, and
                                                             Keep it short in length, match the message
         schools.



62
    to the audience, and avoid government              and people and include dollar amounts on
    names and jargon.                                  the value of rural areas on the economy.
♦   Emphasize images of families, community
    support groups (i.e., fire departments, and                        Topic #5
    Women, Infants, and Children), doctors,            How to Create Printed Materials That
    teachers, etc.
                                                       are Easier to Read and Understand
♦   Use icons/images which people are familiar
    with in their local areas (i.e., United Farm
                                                   ♦   Tap more fully and deeply into the rich di-
    Worker, eagle, and Caesar Chavez).
                                                       versity of rural populations, recognizing the
♦   Show images that connect the present to
                                                       various local and regional languages and
    the future, such as children and youth – a
                                                       cultures. Be mindful of various dialects of
    teen helping an elderly person fill out the
                                                       languages, as well.
    census form.
                                                   ♦   Keep in mind the literacy level of many ru-
♦   Always emphasize confidentiality, stress its
                                                       ral populations. Pay special attention to
    importance and what the Census Bureau
                                                       the special-language needs, especially for
    does to maintain confidentiality.
                                                       certain rural and migrant populations. Use
♦   Make posters colorful with large letters.
                                                       pictures and very simple language to com-
    Stay away from looking too “government.”
                                                       municate the census message.
♦   Match the message and images to the au-
                                                   ♦   Census information should be included in
    dience. For example, picture a prosperous
                                                       English as a Second Language (ESL),
    main street, a nice farm scene, or a farmer
                                                       General Education Development (GED),
    counting livestock. Make the rural commu-
                                                       adult education, and the college curriculum,
    nity feel special, needed and valued, by
                                                       as well as citizenship classes and state lit-
    making them feel they can make a differ-
                                                       eracy programs. Other organizations that
    ence.
                                                       serve people with reading or writing limita-
♦   Wording on promotional materials is also
                                                       tions include: libraries, welfare offices, ex-
    important. Use phrases that rural residents
                                                       tension services, Housing Authority, Com-
    can relate to. Emphasize the urgency of
                                                       munity Action Centers, schools, Head
    participating in the census by showing the
                                                       Start, senior centers, churches, homeless
    negative economic impact of under-
                                                       shelters, and mental health groups.
    representation on family life, school bene-
    fits, utilities, etc. Use images of houses



                                                                                                        63
                         Topic #6                         ♦   Utilize more effective planning, and target-
         Extent of Access to Computers and                    ing of local media outlets, and increased

             Internet for Rural Residents                     funding to grassroots organizations that
                                                              can begin marketing census benefits and

     There is currently little or no access to com-           procedures before migrants leave home.

     puters and the Internet in many rural homes.         ♦   Utilize Farmworkers Associations, migrant

     Where there are computers and Internet ac-               camps, growers, and other census part-

     cess, it is more likely used by children or              ners, to build trust and acceptability within

     youth in the home. However, access to com-               migrant families and communities.

     puters and the Internet is available in the          ♦   Include migrant workers on Complete

     community through libraries, housing and                 Count Committees. Migrants share very

     community centers, churches, community-                  strong core family and spiritual values and

     based organizations, senior centers, and mo-             can best be reached through their children,

     bile computer labs in some areas. Consider-              families, schools, and churches.

     ing these limitations, there is still value in us-   ♦   Utilize more bilingual enumerators and cen-

     ing computers and other technology for the               sus outreach workers and volunteers. Also

     2010 Census, especially in communicating                 develop more partnerships with busi-

     with rural partners.                                     nesses, targeting and educating key em-
                                                              ployers and first-line supervisors about cen-
                                                              sus facts, economic benefits, and other
                         Topic #7
                                                              benefits.
                Outreach Strategies for
                                                          ♦   Utilize minority newspapers and radio sta-
                 Migrant Populations
                                                              tions, and attend local cultural events that
                                                              are attended by migrant workers.
     ♦   Begin communication immediately and di-
                                                          ♦   Emphasize confidentiality of the census
         rectly with rural leaders and their communi-
                                                              process in all contacts with migrant work-
         ties about concerns and fears many immi-
                                                              ers, to alleviate fears of losing their jobs or
         grants and migrant populations have re-
                                                              their children.
         garding the IRS and Homeland Security.
                                                          ♦   Language is a major barrier between the
         Send positive messages through existing
                                                              census process and the migrant population.
         networks that directly reach migrant work-
                                                              Materials should be developed in Spanish,
         ers, including the migrant homeless.
                                                              using easy words, and a low reading level.



64
    Images should incorporate important and/or                        Topic #9
    influential people or heroes, such as                      How to Communicate the
    priests, social workers, Caesar Chavez,              Census Bureau’s Commitment
    and Oscar de la Hoya.
                                                                  to Confidentiality

                    Topic #8                      ♦   The Census Bureau should communicate
     Outreach Strategies for American                 its commitment to confidentiality in simple,
     Indian/Alaska Native Populations                 clear language, much like the strong Title
                                                      13 statement, which reads:
♦   Prepare simple promotional materials, with             “By law, the Census Bureau cannot
    a few words describing census benefits and             share information obtained from re-
    importance, such as free educational bene-             spondents with any individual or
    fits for American Indians, and health bene-            agency including Homeland Security,
    fits.                                                  IRS, FBI, law enforcement, or welfare
♦   Tap into Tribal Web sites and newsletters              agencies. No court of law, not even
    that can include census information and                the President of the United States, can
    explain why tribes should participate.                 find out individual responses. Census
♦   Work with Tribal Chiefs, Elders, and Tribal            Bureau workers are sworn to secrecy.
    council members to write letters advocating            They face up to a $250,000 fine and a
    census support and participation. Partici-             five-year prison term if they give out
    pate in ceremonies and activities such as              any information they see on a census
    powwows, to distribute census materials                form.”
    and information.                              ♦   When promoting the census, be specific in
♦   Images are very important to American In-         explaining the penalties and fines for
    dians/Alaska Natives, and have a strong,          breaking confidentiality.
    lasting effect on them. Create relevant,      ♦   Partner with local leaders to make public
    meaningful images on printed materials,           announcements about confidentiality.
    such as local school sports teams and fig-    ♦   Inform the public that all paid census work-
    ures. Also use images that are relevant to        ers go through thorough background
    Tribal issues and concerns.                       checks and clearances before going in the
                                                      field.




                                                                                                     65
     ♦   Place confidentiality information and state-         Due to recent terrorist attacks, the public
         ments in local government offices.                   may be more suspicious of strangers and
     ♦   Provide census workers with business-like            reluctant to divulge personal information.
         cards with phone numbers, so people may          ♦   Emphasize patriotism and civic duty – that
         call to verify workers, or call local authori-       responding to the census is “the right thing
         ties for verification.                               to do,” or “the American thing to do.”
                                                          ♦   Stress the historical importance of the cen-
                   General Comments                           sus and that it provides pertinent genea-
                                                              logical information on ancestors.
     ♦   One reason why past census efforts failed        ♦   Improve trust in historically-undercounted
         in rural areas is inadequate maps. The               areas. The success of the census depends
         Census Bureau needs to provide more di-              on public awareness, understanding, and
         rection to smaller localities in order to have       trust.
         maps updated accurately. The Bureau
         should encourage small municipalities to
         work with regional planning offices to en-
         sure that maps are updated and clear.
         This will help improve service and timeli-
         ness of material distribution.
     ♦   Keep partnerships active during non-
         decennial years through the work of full-
         time Partnership Specialists.
     ♦   Continue to provide not just paper, but
         practical, meaningful giveaways, such as
         bandanas, sunscreen, car shades, and cal-
         endars, that offer recipients factual informa-
         tion, as well as personal benefits.
     ♦   Recognize the importance of unions, espe-
         cially in the mines and factories. Union
         leaders can be important influencers.
     ♦   Do not overlook the impact of terrorism.




66
Appendix A




        List of Participating Organizations




                                              67
     Fresno, CA                  March 26, 2003
     Organization                         City, State
     Campesinos Sin Fronteras             Somerton, AZ

     Clinica Sierra Vista                 Bakersfield, CA

     Migrant Education, Harvest of Hope   Oxnard, CA

     Radio Campesina Network              Salinas, CA

     San Benito Health Foundation         Hollister, CA

     United Farm Workers                  Sacramento, CA




68
Charleston, WV                       April 1, 2003
Organization                              City, State
Automated Health Systems                  Dunbar, WV

Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce           Belpre, OH

Eastern Greenbrier Jr. High School        Lewisburg, WV

Gallia Metro Housing Authority            Bidwell, OH

Kentucky Farmworkers Program              Lebanon, KY

Region VIII Planning and Development      Petersburg, WV
Council
SW Resources                              Parkersburg, WV

Town of Wendell                           Wendell, NC

West Virginia University / Mason County   Point Pleasant, WV
Extension Office
WV Community Action Director’s            Parkersburg, WV
Association




                                                               69
     Jackson, MS                   April 2, 2003
     Organization                        City, State
     City of Yazoo                       Yazoo, MS

     Jackson State University            Jackson, MS

     Madison County Community Action     Canton, MS

     MS Band of Choctaw Indians          Choctaw, MS

     MS Cooperative Extension Service    Mississippi State, MS

     MS Legal Services                   Jackson, MS

     Project Bravo                       El Paso, TX

     Yazoo Community Action Agency       Yazoo, MS




70

								
To top