It’s almost 2020 — only four months until Census Day!
As we get closer to Census Day on April 1, 2020, we’ll be counting down with a timeline of outreach recommendations for governments, community-based organizations, and individuals. CCL staff attend many of the Complete Count Committee meetings and Census conferences that are happening all over the nation, and we thought it would be helpful to share some of the insights that we’ve collected to better help your outreach efforts. Here are some strategies that you can implement for the month of December:
Hit the Streets
As 2019 draws to a close and Census Day rapidly approaches, people will begin to hear about the Census in ads, marketing materials, and social media. You can use this publicity to gain momentum and get constituents interested in and excited about the Census. If you haven’t already joined your local Complete Count Committee, now is the time! You may be able to help inform some of the marketing decisions that are being made for communications pushes next year, and your organization may even be eligible for resources to help you in your outreach efforts.
With the broader education efforts and Census communications becoming more prominent, it’s a great time to continue to leverage your volunteers to conduct dry runs. Send volunteers and staff into their communities to educate them about what the Census means for them and how it affects their daily lives.
Introduce Yourself as a Trusted Voice
As you and your staff continue to engage your community, positioning yourself and your organization as trusted messengers will help establish you as a resource for the Census next year. In an age of increasing distrust in the government, your role is critical to ensuring that your community participates in the Census.
Seeing familiar faces will allow them to trust you and listen to what you have to say, so take the time to let them know what they should expect starting in January and the months to come.
Help Get Your Constituents Counted
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, up to 40% of the count in the 2020 Census is projected to be brought in by enumerators, whose job is to go door-to-door following up with people who didn’t self-respond to the Census.
The Census Bureau is falling short of its hiring goals and needs more enumerators than initially expected to get people counted in the 2020 Census.
Enumerator jobs are well-paid positions with few work experience requirements and highly flexible hours. If you’re over 18 years old and without a serious criminal history, you’re likely to qualify. Some communities, depending on their language needs may even receive a waiver from the Census Bureau to allow non-citizens to apply for the jobs. The biggest barrier to the job is the application process — it’s opaque, long, and not easy to navigate. Applicants also often don’t hear back for months after submitting their application.
The Census Bureau is picking up its interview and hiring efforts this month and will continue to hire throughout the entirety of the Census operation.
CommunityConnect Labs developed the Field Staff Recruiter solution to help remove these barriers. Earlier this year, CCL partnered with the California Adult Education Program (CAEP) to pilot the solution and to activate a great-fit constituency to apply for Census jobs. The results were very promising and the solution could help hire more enumerators. More enumerators means more people in your community getting counted. You can read more about the pilot here.
Let us know what strategies you’re using in your community, and we will feature them here on our blog! See you in the new year!