Dear We Count Los Angeles Partners,
Thank you for your participation in yesterday’s census launch press event that unfortunately, was cancelled by local elected officials in relation to dealing with the COVID-19 response in our region. We’ve been preparing for over two years in anticipation of a variety of forces aimed at impeding our efforts. Yet no one could have predicted this turn of events. This email is to provide some guidance with respect to We Count LA census campaign efforts.
First and foremost, we want to ensure that you and your family are well. We are in personal triage mode with many of us trying to determine child care options given school closures and work and travel changes as a result of the measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Our work on the census is critical. But we need to take a moment to pause and take care of ourselves and our families. All of the many questions we have on how we pivot our GOTC strategies given this unprecedented situation will get resolved.
SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
- We promise that everyone’s scopes of work – especially as it relates to special events and canvassing – will get resolved. We just need to pause over the next week or two to determine our course of action, but be assured we are committed to working together with you and State of CA as partners on resolution.
- We need to trust and lean-into virtual engagement, paid media, texting and phone banking -- regardless of how things develop, we know now these tactics will be critical as we postpone in-person outreach activities. As such, we must prioritize the following action items:
- CONTINUE ENGAGING & COORDINATING VIRTUALLY
All regional We Count LA Census Table meetings will now be held virtually. We will continue providing strategic updates, focus on reviewing response rates at a regional level and work collectively to develop solutions to reach our hardest-to-count communities at these meetings. We encourage all census outreach partners to stay in touch with all your regional leads and host virtual (webcast/webinar/tele-town hall) meetings as needed during this time. Contact information for regional leads can be found below.
|Metro LA||Advancement Project CA||Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate||[email protected]|
|Antelope Valley + Santa Clarita Valley||Antelope Valley Partners for Health||Rocio Castellanos||[email protected]|
|South LA + South Bay||Community Coalition||Kirk Samuels||[email protected]|
|San Gabriel Valley||LA Voice||Chapman Clark||[email protected]|
|Long Beach||Long Beach Forward||James Suazo||[email protected]|
|San Fernando Valley||Pacoima Beautiful||Alex Ortega
|Pomona Valley||Pomona Day Labor Center||Karen Kandamby||[email protected]|
|Southeast LA||SELA Collaborative||Cynthia Cortez||[email protected]|
- SEND US YOUR LISTS TO BE ADDED TO THE WE COUNT LA PAID MEDIA PROGRAM
As more people stay home, participation in the paid media program will become the most powerful resource to reach our community members and persuade them to fill out the census questionnaire. Details about the paid media program and how to participate can be found here.
Remember this is also a key way for CCF to track and monitor the grantees reach in Region 8. Participating in the program and guaranteeing your supporters are reached with advertising will allow us to report on the cumulative reach of the grantee cohort, and take some of the burden off of your individual organization.
If your organization has not signed-up, completed the process to participate in the paid media program, or if you have questions, please email [email protected].
- INTENSIFY ENGAGEMENT VIA PHONE BANKING
Phone banking is a tactic that allows us to deploy volunteers to conduct outreach remotely. Volunteers can easily be set up with a call sheet, script, and a reporting sheet to track their conversations on encouraging people to participate in the census. Since many paid organizers are also depending on canvassing as a source of income, texting and phone banking can be a way to keep staff engaged in important outreach work as we ride out this health crisis.
Beginning next week, the We Count LA Campaign Toolkit will have phone banking scripts, as well as basic tips-and-tricks to help with organizing a remote phone banking program. We will provide an update when those resources become available and how grantees can report on their phone banking activities as priorities shift. If you will be conducting census outreach via phone banking, please complete this form.
- MAXIMIZE OUTREACH VIA TEXTING
Texting is a great direct contact method, and is also a great way to keep volunteers and staff hitting their contact targets. In last month’s We Count LA Census Reading Trainings, all groups received accounts with Thru-Text and information about how to hold a “distributed text bank”.
Consider hosting a distributed text-bank fully remotely. All you need to do is access your Thrutext account, upload a list of people you would like to reach, and then start texting! We already have initial set-up, scripts, and other messaging please visit the WeCountLA Toolkit and click “Thrutext Resource Bank”. If you have questions on Thrutext, e-mail [email protected].
Since peer-to-peer texting doesn’t require recipients to be opt-ed in, you can pull information on HTC census tracts from Census PDI and send texts where a phone number is available. If you are a grantee and have interest in gaining Census PDI access, e-mail [email protected].
- POST, POST AND POST AGAIN
Keep posting social media content with the #WeCountLA hashtag and we will boost it as well. Take a look at news stories from the news conference. These are your voices -- this is what you did! Post these stories and look for more content to come.
HOW ELSE IS CCF READY TO SUPPORT WE COUNT LA PARTNERS?
We will continue to provide weekly updates on new resources and developments like printing of flyers and banners, action items that require your attention, new resources added to the campaign toolkit, schedule virtual meetings, and sharing a brief look at what’s to come.
As the campaign adapts to the realities of COVID 19 mitigation, email updates like this will be critical to keep our momentum going. For those of you who will shift to remote operations, email communication will be critical.
We recognize that it may be challenging to meet some activities or deadlines within your grant agreements. In alignment with State guidelines for census outreach activities, we want to remain flexible when challenges arise. Reach out to us [email protected] with any other census-related inquiries.
In these trying times, it’s now more important than ever that our communities stand with each other and speak with one voice.
Together, we will continue our work to ensure every person in every community is counted and gets the resources they deserve.
Stay healthy. Stay strong.
Stephania + the We Count LA Campaign Team