“Let’s get counted for a better future.”
Chinese Information and Service Center Meeting
We were invited to represent Pathway foundation at the Chinese Information and Service Center’s Census Complete Count Committee. On the 12/12/19 meeting, we were able to present the ideas of our Census Outreach project and network with different non-profit and cultural/professional organizations in the Greater Seattle Area. The professional social workers from CISC were pleased to see us high school students being so civically active and professional in our approach, and they told us that they are amazed by the structure and detail of our proposal.”
“Our goal is to spread awareness about the importance of the Census in student populations of Greater Seattle Area through education, social media campaigns, and civic cooperation, in order to reduce the number of undercounted families in our community.”
“Our Census 2020 Outreach is an education/awareness project targeting the census undercount issue in the East King County area. The census, taken every decade, is vital politically and economically for our community. Yet, due to lack of awareness and education, undercount in the census becomes an important issue, and it impacts our community and our democracy in every way from political under-representation in the US congress to the loss of millions of dollars of regional funding for local services and infrastructure. Many are unaware of what the census is truly about and choose to ignore it, a small decision that burdens our community financially, and left their voices to be unheard.
We believe in democracy and want our community to have an equal share of representation, thus we launched this project with the goal of educating high school students and their families about the significance of the census and encouraging them to answer it. With our three-way plan of lobbying schools, campaigning through social media, and working closely with professional census committees and non-profits in East King County, our message is direct and focused toward bringing census education to the high school students and their family. The voices of our community need to be heard. Let’s get counted for a better future.”
Working with schools
Many hard-to-count communities have parents that do not understand enough about the census and its true intent. Through the help of the education system, we hope to first reach the children of the undercounted communities and equip them with the proper understanding of the census, so they can bring the message back to their families and represent our community by answering the census.
First, we researched and created a list of contact information to reach out to the school boards, superintendents, and social study teachers of 44 King County High Schools for our outreach effort
Then, we developed a lesson plan for the social studies teachers to educate their students about the importance of the census and how it could be answered. Our materials consist of two short films from our partner organizations, a PowerPoint presentation we developed, and worksheets from the US Census Bureau.
Via email, we lobbied first the district boards/superintendents on the importance of education on the census, then we emailed the social studies teachers of these school districts. We stated who we are, our intent, and why they should help us in this mutual civic effort, and we provided them with the lesson plan that we developed.
We had provided anyone we emailed with a google form link for any questions, comments, or concerns they would like to provide for us.
Being a society that has shifted heavily to social media over the years, we thought that it would be vital to spread our message over social media in order to reach a larger audience.
After many discussions regarding relevant social media within our group, we decided to focus on Instagram, which is most popularly used by high school and college students, and WeChat, which is the most popular social media platform among Chinese Americans. These two social media platforms would allow us to reach out to our target audience which is students and their parents, and Chinese Americans.
On these platforms, we will be sharing updates and information regarding the Census with more frequent releases as we get closer to April 1st. All the information will be shared in both English and Chinese (traditional and simplified) depending on the audience that we are sharing it to. We want to ensure that we make the greatest impact with our audience by making our information understandable to them.
At a East King County Census Committee meeting earlier in the year, we were able to share our Instagram page and make it into the official Instagram page for East King County Census. This was a huge accomplishment as this will allow us to achieve greater outreach to a large audience.
Our Official East King County Census Committee account: @censusoutreach2020
Our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection with Census Committees
Through working with different census committees, we are able to connect with valuable organizations that help us further our objectives and the collective census-awareness effort. We were invited to be part of the Chinese Information and Service Center Census Complete Count Committee (CISC-CCC) back in November of 2019, and we also became part of the East King County Census Complete Count Committee (EKCCC).
Through the committees, we were able to network with representatives from different school district representatives responsible for their schools’ census outreach, receive the necessary training to be a community of “trusted messengers”, and gain access to useful outreach materials.
The representatives of our partner organization include Meon Yu from the Chinese Information Service Center, Gwen Rousseau from Bellevue City Census Committee, and Debbie Lacy from the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition. You could reach them with the following contacts:
Meon Yu: email@example.com
Gwen Rousseau: GRousseau@bellevuewa.gov
Debbie Lacy: firstname.lastname@example.org