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Public Involvement and the Early Education Campaign: Washington State Case Studies Transportation Choices Andrew Austin, Field Director

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Presentation on theme: "Public Involvement and the Early Education Campaign: Washington State Case Studies Transportation Choices Andrew Austin, Field Director"— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Involvement and the Early Education Campaign: Washington State Case Studies Transportation Choices Andrew Austin, Field Director

2 Local Reality: Transit Revenue Campaigns in Washington Local Reality: Transit Revenue Campaigns in Washington

3 We’ve passed 15 of 19 measures in the last 4 years Examples: Mass Transit Now (Sound Transit) % to 43% Mass Transit Now (Sound Transit) % to 43% Island Transit 2009 Passed 56% to 44% Island Transit 2009 Passed 56% to 44% Valley Transit 2010 Passed 75% to 25% Valley Transit 2010 Passed 75% to 25% Jefferson Transit 2010 Passed Jefferson Transit 2010 Passed C-Tran, Vancouver, WA Passed 56% to 44% in November 2011 C-Tran, Vancouver, WA Passed 56% to 44% in November 2011

4 A Tale of Two Measures Pierce Transit “Save Our Buses” measure fails in February 2011 with a 46% to 54% margin. Bus service has been cut by 40%, buses stop running at 10pm. Pierce Transit “Save Our Buses” measure fails in February 2011 with a 46% to 54% margin. Bus service has been cut by 40%, buses stop running at 10pm. C-Tran “Preserve our Buses” measure passes in Clark County by a 56% to 44% measure. C-Tran “Preserve our Buses” measure passes in Clark County by a 56% to 44% measure. Both in predominately suburban communities Both in predominately suburban communities Both were approximately $100,000 campaigns that had almost identical field plans (approx. 10,000 voter contact calls made) Both were approximately $100,000 campaigns that had almost identical field plans (approx. 10,000 voter contact calls made) Same political consultant and level of involvement from Transportation Choices staff and resources Same political consultant and level of involvement from Transportation Choices staff and resources

5 Two Very Different Outcomes

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7 Why Pierce Lost and C-Tran Won Organized opposition including the local paper that didn’t exist in Vancouver Organized opposition including the local paper that didn’t exist in Vancouver Tighter campaign timeline with Feb. election in Pierce. Tighter campaign timeline with Feb. election in Pierce. Slightly worse electorate in Pierce Slightly worse electorate in Pierce Pre-campaign plan work, education, and polling Pre-campaign plan work, education, and polling

8 Setting yourself up for success: Pre-campaign to do’s Polling is crucial! Combine polling results with direct elected/board member lobbying to craft a winning package. (If we didn’t do this we probably would have lost in Vancouver) Combine polling results with direct elected/board member lobbying to craft a winning package. (If we didn’t do this we probably would have lost in Vancouver) If polling says you can’t win, don’t do it, reassess and find alternatives If polling says you can’t win, don’t do it, reassess and find alternatives Other than package shaping, using polling to craft your message and tone. Other than package shaping, using polling to craft your message and tone.

9 Pre-campaign Targets Transit agency staff and board: Craft a package that can win. Transit agency staff and board: Craft a package that can win. Top target coalition partners and funders (i.e. ATU & Chamber): Ideally everyone feels bought into the decision going forward and was listened to throughout the process. Top target coalition partners and funders (i.e. ATU & Chamber): Ideally everyone feels bought into the decision going forward and was listened to throughout the process. The general public/voters. Craft media stories, LTEs, social media, blogs, etc. covering decision to go to ballot in a way that aligns with future campaign messaging. The general public/voters. Craft media stories, LTEs, social media, blogs, etc. covering decision to go to ballot in a way that aligns with future campaign messaging.

10 Setting up a big win! The Right Ask The Right Ask The Right Message The Right Message An Existing and United Campaign Committee from day -1. An Existing and United Campaign Committee from day -1.Questions/Contact? Andrew Austin


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