Polling group targets Selma

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Besides answering a barrage of questions about Selma’s municipal government, residents in Selma who have answered their phones lately may have heard the voice on the other end say, “I am from New Century Polling and Research.”

If you are about to hang up, just know that it’s not a telemarketer.

Miles Mayberry, the manager of New Century Polling and Research, a group based in Montgomery, said that his group does survey research in a variety of areas.

The group,

he said, which is part of the division of Business and Technology at Alabama State University, has recently been surveying Selmians, asking local residents what they think about Selma’s municipal government.

Mayberry said residents have been asked questions like “how well is your mayor doing? Or how do you feel about your city council?”

“The idea,” said Mayberry, “is to find out about what residents think about their local government. It also gives the citizens a chance to voice their opinions, something, which they may not often get a chance to do normally.”

The survey, said Mayberry, has not yet been completed.

“We have surveyed about 300 [in Selma] right now, and we are looking to reach at least 600,” he said.

Mayberry added that the group was also doing similar surveys in Wetumpka, Prattville and Tuskegee.

Said Mayberry, “[Once the survey is completed] the information can not only be used by citizens, but it can also be used by local elected officials.”

Besides doing research in Alabama, the group, he said, also does research nationwide, not only dealing with politics but also doing research for smaller businesses as well as for larger organizations.

Mayberry said some of his groups latest projects included doing surveys for ESPN, the television sports network, as well as doing

surveys for the United Way.

“We do a lot of different things here,” said Mayberry, adding, “I can’t even begin to name them all.”

The group, he said, is funded both by the Alabama Minority Network, a program, which is administered through the University of Alabama, as well as clients, who wish to participate in survey research.

Said Mayberry with a laugh, “Our job is to only do the research here. We do not draw any conclusions.”