Influencing policy: from the halls of power to the neighborhood coffee shop
As policy questions become more complex, news and communications become instantaneous and decision makers are more overwhelmed with their tasks, new and innovative tactics must be implemented to create desired outcomes. We understand the subtleties of complex policy questions. And, we can design and implement a plan that achieves positive results. Whether it’s the local, state or federal government these Case Studies highlight some of our results.
Coalition Helps Federal Regulators Navigate Water Policy
The Issue: A unique coalition of non-profit and government water providers that included agricultural, suburban and environmental communities were advocating for the substantial expansion of an Army Corps of Engineers Reservoir.
The Solution: Our team secured government approval at the local, state and federal level. We managed an aggressive participatory strategy for three public hearings run by the Corps of Engineers as well as write and position op-eds, set-up editorial boards and TV broadcasts to dominate the media and neutralize opposition. Secured the support of the governor and in 2013 received the final EIS from the Army.
Building a Brand and Reputation
The Issue: As the industry faced increasing federal scrutiny, a national for-profit college needed to go on offense to differentiate their story.
The Solution: Introduced the executive team to congressional leaders; expanded their federal presence; developed a PAC organization and collateral; secured and prepped the State Treasurer and Speaker of the House as regional campus commencement speakers; and then managed the inauguration of a new campus program in wind energy bringing the governor and a local congressman to tour campus and keynote the event.
At City Hall…Perseverance Pays Off
The Issue: With the closing of the Fitzsimons Army base and hospital in Aurora, CO. the location was being groomed as the home of University Hospital and a brand-new V.A. Hospital. The city threatened to close dozens of businesses around the campus without compensation threatening much needed re-development.
The Solution: Welchert developed an aggressive grassroots/grasstops mobilization strategy that included earned media, a petition drive campaign and a potential ballot initiative. Faced with the onslaught of negative public opinion, city council repealed the amortization ordinance. Today the revitalization around Fitzsimmons is a tremendous success pumping $4.5 billion into the local economy.
Digital Tactics Freeze Legislative Momentum
The Issue: Having defeated public unions, right-wing Wisconsin politicians were emboldened to go back on their word and intervene in private sector business contracts. The 2015 legislature passed Right-to-Work in record speed and were poised to follow that by repealing prevailing wages on government contracts that ensured a local, well-trained construction workforce.
The Solution: We initiated a controversial but highly effective grassroots lobbying campaign that stopped legislative activity cold. A strategic combination of TV ads (Ben Nuckels and Joe White), digital/on-line communications (Revolution) and media relations were delivered into key home legislative districts. Our messaging and tactics produced an avalanche of calls and letters to conservative legislators from conservative constituents back home. Unlike the Astroturf or labor rallies legislators had come to expect, our efforts spawned legislative in-fighting and forced policy makers from the Governor on down to regroup and settle for half-a-loaf. Faced with this public outcry from friends and neighbors a repeal of prevailing wage was stopped on state contracts! This marked the first union victory of any kind over the Scott Walker/Koch brother’s faction.
As soon as any man says of the affairs of state, 'What does it matter to me?' That state may be given up for lost.
--Jeanne Jacque Rousseau