EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

UP 378 Community Development Workshop in Alta Sita



 

UP 378

Syllabus

Scope of Sevices

Work Plan

Tool Kit

Training & Methods

Neighborhood Information

Data & Work in Progress

ASNI Communication

Meetings, Memos & Outreach

LA 338

ARCH 374

Tool Kit

Classroom Training

Community Development Methods
Census Data Collection and Analysis Guide, 1/26/99 Cognitive Mapping Exercise, 2/9/99
Neighborhood Condition Survey Training, 1/28/99 Camera Exercise, 2/9/99 (.pdf format)
Outreach Script, 1/29/1999
Ethnography exercise, 1/29/1999
Empowerment Planning Lecture, 2/4/99
Outreach Script, 2/9/99
Sample Resident Survey form (Emerson Park 1998)
Sample Institutional Leader Survey form (Emerson Park 1998)
Alta Sita Resident Survey Training and Form, 2/19/99

Classroom Training

Census Training Guide, January 27, 1999


One facet of data collection within neighborhood planning is the collection of Census data. 
This activity has three major objectives:
1. To create a profile of the Alta Sita neighborhood in terms of population, housing, income, employment and education.
2. To identify trends in the data over the last few decades to show changing conditions.
3. To draw comparisons between the neighborhood data and the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County.

Tasks:

1. Learn about the U.S. Census by reading this guide, attending the presentation given by the Documents Librarian on Wednesday (1/27) at 2:00p.m., and surfing the Census web page at http://www.census.gov
2. Identify variable to be used from previous neighborhood plans and from the complete list of variables collected by the Census Bureau. 
3. Determine the block groups and tracts that fall within Alta Sita’s neighborhood boundaries 
4. Determine appropriate "comparison areas" to be used for analytical  purposes (i.e. city and county)
5. Collect relevant data from 1970, 1980 and 1990 from the Census of Population and Housing 
6. Create relevant tables 
7. Carryout necessary analysis 
8. Conduct five and ten-year population, employment and housing data projections

What is the Census?

The U.S. Census conducts national social, economic and population surveys every ten years.  In Planning, this tool is usually the most commonly used for profiling, forecasting, and analysis. Census data is organized by geographic levels – state, county, city, tract, block group. The U.S. Bureau of Census generally has collected data on the same variables since 1970. All variables are collected at the tract level and a much smaller group (about 40 variables) is available at the Block Group level.  The boundaries of Alta Sita fall within parts of two tracts that are actually much larger than the actual neighborhood.  To obtain more accurate data, we will collect both tract and block group information.  See attached map.

Where Do We Find the Data?

The Documents Library (2nd Floor, Main Library) contains all the Census information you will need.  The library has extremely helpful staff (see Mary Mallory during daytime hours) and has maps from the past thirty years.  Data from 1990 is available on the Web at http://www.census.gov.  Prof. Varkki George has created a tutorial for navigating through the data on the Web. Also, attached is a sample of tables created as part of the Emerson Park plan.  The city, county and suburban ring data is already provided and can be used for the Alta Sita analysis.

Which Variables Do We Collect?

In the past, we have typically collected data on the following variables.  There may be more variables that are appropriate to planning in Alta Sita. 
1. Total population
2. Percent change in population from previous census
3. Number of families
4. Number of households
5. Percent change in population
6. Race – 5 categories
7. Population under 18 years of ages
8. Population over 65  years and over
9. Female headed households
10. Two person headed households
11. Percentage of population 25 years of age plus with at least a high school diploma
12. Bachelor’s degree
13. Graduate or professional degree
14. School enrollment (K-12)
15. Unemployment rate
16. Total civilian labor force
17. Employed civilian labor force
18. Median household income
19. Median family income
20. Families below poverty
21. Households with public assistance income
22. Households with social security income
23. Female headed households below poverty level
24. Number of housing units
25. Total occupied housing units
26. Owner occupied housing units
27. Renter occupied housing units
28. Vacant units
29. Median gross rent
30. Median value of owner occupied units
31. Median monthly owner costs with mortgage
32. Median monthly owner costs without mortgage
33. Percent of income going towards rent
34. Median household income as a percentage of the county median household income
35. Percent of total units with 1.01 or more persons per room

For a complete list of census variables, CLICK HERE.

How Do We Store the Data?

Enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet.  Attached is a tutorial for creating effective charts and graphs.  Save the spreadsheets on the research drive.  Ken will talk further on analyzing the data once it has been collected. 

Documents Library Training on the Census, January 27, 1999
 
Presented by: Shawn Nickels and Stephanie Atkins

Library staff is available to assist students at the following hours:
Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
After  Spring Break: 
Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday & Wednesday  6:30pm - 9:00pm, Sundays  1:00pm - 5:00pm
Check their Website for more information: http://www.library.uiuc.edu/doc/

The first Census was held in 1790.  At that time they only counted the number of free whites 16 years of age and over, the number of males under 16 years of age, the number of Native Americans paying taxes and the number of slaves per household. 

The Census is the most common tool used to apportion congressional representation, grants, revenue sharing and it is often used for environmental impact assessment. 

There are two geographical levels of data: governmental (city and county) and statistical (tracts and block groups).  Pre-1960 the Census was a door-by-door count.  In 1970 they began a self-enumeration where door-to-door was combined with surveys mailed to every house.  This self-enumaration is most commonly used for social indicators.  On Janaury 26th, 1999, the Supreme Court  ruled that the Census could not collect every variable by self enumaration random sampling.

Over the years the Census has evolved dramatically to include more variables every ten years that carry more in-depth levels of detail.  The major changes between 1960 and 1970  are how the questions are structured and how the variables are defined. 

The appendices of the 1980 and 1990 Census define the variables and the different parts of the Census.  In 1970, the Census provided a Procedural History that has definitions of the variables in Chapter 15.

Census data is stored in text form, on microfiche, on CD-ROM and also on the Web (1990 only).  All forms are available at the Documents Library.  Specifically, Workstation 3 has Census CD and Workstation 8 has Census STF3 data.

Tract level data is available in the books for 1960 though 1990.  Block Group data is available on Microfiche for 1980 and 1990 and on paper for 1960 and 1970.  Block group data is on reserve at the Doc desk - so just ask for it. 
 


Neighborhood Condition Survey Training


Ethnography Exercise, 1/29/99

Please take the next few minutes to complete the following phrase ten times!

1. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

2. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

3. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

4. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

5. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

6. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

7. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

8. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

9. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

10. East St. Louis is ___________________________________.

If you are like most first-time visitors to East St. Louis, the overwhelming majority of your responses to this exercise will be negative! Popular culture and the mass media have emphasized the most negative aspects of East St. Louis, blaming its current residents for the city’s economic problems while giving little attention to this community’s many strengths. All of us have absorbed these negative images of East St. Louis whether we realize it or not! These negative images may cause us to notice ESL’s many environmental, economic and social problems without fully appreciating this town’s extraordinary vitality and resiliency.

While many older industrial cities have disintegrated in the face of the combined effects of suburbanization, deindustrialization, redlining and out-migration. East St. Louis has, with considerable state aid, managed to stabilize its economic base and tax revenues. These accomplishments have enabled the city to achieve a modest level of economic growth during the past five years when similar Midwestern cities have continued to decline. The city’s successful “turn around” flies in the face of what we think we know about East St. Louis. Therefore, the city must possess strengths, resources and assets which we, as outsiders, have failed to notice and appreciate. One of your major challenges this weekend is to uncover the “The Untold Story of East St. Louis”. How did this town manage to beat the odds in order to reverse its economic and fiscal fortunes? This will not be an easy story to gather! Many outstanding reporters, including Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes, have come and gone without uncovering the keys to East St. Louis’s success. We challenge you to use all of your best field research skills to uncover this critical story!

 -Take notice of the variety of physical conditions existing in the
  community;

 -Pursue every opportunity to spend your time in East St.  Louis speaking with residents who have spent their lives in this
 community rather than your trusty classmates;

 -Ask the city officials you meet about the community, its people,
 its history and its culture in order to compare their responses to those of other officials and residents;

 -Eavesdrop on conversations among local residents regarding their perceptions of the city;

 -Pick-up and read the local newspapers when you are in town to see
  what issues are on the top of local and regional agendas;

 -Study the election posters, advertisements, and literature during this
  “Hot” primary season to see what local candidates feel should be on
  the top of the municipal agenda; and

 -Watch the public behavior of the people you meet to see what you can
  learn as a careful participant observers.

Remember the job of any good analyst is to tell the people/world something they don’t already know about an import issue, place or time! The scholarly and popular press is filled with stories about the social deficits of aging industrial cities such as East St. Louis. Take time this weekend to help us better understand the strength of this community so we can better appreciate its resiliency!


 

Empowerment Planning Lecture, February 4, 1999

Phone Call Script

Outreach for February 9th ASNI Meeting
Good afternoon/evening, my name is _______ and I’m calling on behalf of Alta Sita Neighbors Inc.  Hopefully you’ve had a chance to look over the literature that was delivered to you last weekend that explained the purpose of the Alta Sita Neighbors group and about the upcoming neighborhood meetings.  The reason I’m calling is to remind you of a crucial first meeting to discuss the outlines for a neighborhood improvement strategi for our area. The timing

The meeting is on February 9 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Regis Church, which is located at 3500 Market Avenue.  Do you think that you or any members of your household will be able to attend?

YES
Will you need a ride to the meeting?
Will you be bringing your children?
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday the 9th.
Thank you for your time.

NO
Is there anything that we can do to make the meeting more convenient for you?
Maybe you will be able to attend one of the future meetings.
Thank you for your time

Sample Resident Survey from Emerson Park

Sample Institutional Leader Survey from Emerson Park

Alta Site Resident Interview Training and Form, 2/19/99


Community Development Methods

Mapping exercise 2/9/99

Alta Sita Neighbors, Inc.
Mapping Our Neighborhood Activity
February 9, 1999
St. Regis Roman Catholic Church

Long-term residents, business persons and institutional leaders (pastors, principles, coaches)  in every community possess a great deal of information regarding the neighborhood where they live, work and serve! Community revitalization plans which tap this enormous reservoir of community knowledge are much more likely to produce the outcomes which residents want!

During the next twenty to thirty minutes, we would like you to work in groups of five to help us identify the most important features of the Alta Sita neighborhood! With the assistance of planning and design students from the University of Illinois from Urbana-Champaign, we would like you to use the color markers provided to highlight the following key characteristics of your neighborhood on the maps you have been given! When each resident planning team has finished this activity, we would like to have a member of your group present your findings to the rest of our meeting!

Important Features

1. Draw the traditional boundaries of the Alta Sita neighborhood, as you
 understand them, using the black marker.

2. Draw the traditional boundaries for any recognized sub-areas of the   Alta Sita neighborhood, please circle and name these districts (i.e.  industrial area, shopping center, church row, etc.) using the blue marker.

3. Locate and label the names of the neighborhood's most important local
 landmarks (i.e. schools, churches, parks, historic homes) using the brown  marker.

4. Locate and label Alta Sita’s most important resources or assets (i.e.  businesses, social service agencies, housing complexes, public service- oriented families) using the green marker.

5. Locate and label Alta Sita’s most important problem sites/areas
 (i.e. flooding, speeding, crime, vacant buildings, illegal dumping) 
 using the red marker.

When each team has filled in their map, we will ask a representative of each group to report on your work! As each group spokesperson makes their report, we will transfer this information onto our “wall-sized” map of Alta Sita. 


 

Camera Exercise

(.pdf format)
 
 
 

Document author(s) : Cathy Klump
Last modified: 23-Mar-99, C. Klump

EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT