Advocating for change_ppt 6 3 10 (webinar #5)Presentation Transcript
Advocating for Change: Messaging and Methods for Influencing the Adoption of Smoke-Free Policies
Who We Are, What We Do and Why It Works
We are made of up a diverse group of stakeholders, including public health, housing, environmental and legal professionals.
We advocate for VOLUNTARY policy change by landlords, public housing authorities and property managers.
The Coalition has met with success primarily due to the engagement of stakeholders, collaborative partnerships and consistent market-friendly messaging.
Why We Promote Voluntary Policy Change
Historically, Libertarian ideologies define the citizen opinion in Maine.
Strong and progressive State laws, but we draw the line when it comes to people’s homes.
Maine people are in favor of smoking bans when the primary goal is to protect children; otherwise seen as “civil liberties” issue.
A coalition-based model that has time and funding to:
Educate landlords and the general public
Offer technical assistance
But NOT to develop ordinances in each town in Maine or at the state-level
State-wide programs often seek legislation, so why not make legislation a focus of the master plan?
Make Friends and Network
Key to Coalition success has been the ability to make & keep friends.
Community coalitions, ‘champion’ housing professionals and others have had a huge impact on Coalition success.
Success Will be Found in Your Collaborations
Private Market Housing
Fire Marshal’s Office
Success Will be Found in Your Collaborations cont…
Behavioral Health Community
In-patient and transitional housing facilities
Look for non-traditional public health partners.
Environmental health/indoor air quality advocates
TENANTS and tenant advocacy groups
Anyone else who is willing to listen
Don’t assume anyone knows anything about the issue- including your friends and co-workers!
Outreach Efforts that Work
Direct mail is the best way to reach landlords and trusted partners (i.e. clinics, WIC, Head Start) are the best way to reach tenants.
Reach populations where they are:
Craigslist, Laundromats, grocery stores, coffee shops, college campuses, libraries, doctor’s offices/clinics, e-mail and on the web (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, etc).
Landlord association meetings, public housing authorities, realty groups, finance authorities, local media outlets, etc.
Building your credibility and exposure
Over 25,000 educational brochures have been distributed by the Coalition.
The brochure was updated in 2006 to include data from Sanford and Auburn Housing Authorities that expressed the extensive cost-savings of a smoke-free policy.
This, along with our website, is the most comprehensive piece of education on smoke-free policies available, covering everything from legal protections, cost savings, to the health effects of secondhand smoke.
Smoke-free housing has been in the news about 75 times since inception.
Media sources such as the USA Today, Boston Globe, Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, WMTW, WCSH, WABI, WCSH, Fox News, several local weeklies and others have all run stories on the initiative in Maine.
Other affiliates and partners have run additional articles as well: PTM’s The Link, MaineHousing’s rental guide, HMP’s The Scuttle Butt, Asthma Regional Council’s Innovations, the State Fire Marshal’s newsletter and more.
Building credibility and exposure… Fire Marshal Press Event
In April, the Coalition partnered with State Fire Marshal in a ‘call-to-action’ asking all Maine’s public housing authorities to adopt a smoke-free policy.
This included a letter to all 25 executive directors as well as a press event on April 22, 2008.
The press event resulted in several news stories, including coverage by the AP, MPBN, WCSH, WBLZ, WMTW, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald and the Coastal Journal.
Building credibility and exposure… Direct Mail In the last two years we have sent 10s of thousands of postcards to landlords throughout the State which have served to advertise the website, registry, conferences, trainings and our general message.
Building credibility and exposure … Targeted Mailings
To increase the use of the online registry to Maine landlords, the Coalition partnered with HMPs in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Lincoln and Knox to send promotional offers to landlords who joined the registry.
Sending the Right Message: Say it Right
A smoke-free policy does not require anyone to quit smoking
An apartment building is an investment for the landlord
There is no “one-size fits all” approach to policy adoption
The majority of people DON’T smoke and WANT to live in a smoke-free environment.
Sending the Right Message: Say it Right
There are several free resources available
For those who want to quit, the State provides substantial free support
There is no right to smoke, but people should be free to breathe clean air
A home is not a healthy home if it is not a smoke-free home
Stay on Cue
It’s about the smoke, not the smoker.
Smoke-free living is becoming the norm, not the exception.
Maine laws protect people from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke at work, public places, bars and restaurants, but not in the place people spend the majority of their time: the home.
Tenants want this! 78% of tenants want to live in a smoke-free environment.
Smoke-free housing saves property managers and landlords MONEY—it costs two to seven times as much to turn over a unit where smoking is allowed as opposed to a unit where smoking is not allowed.
Keep in contact with public housing professions (and tenants) who have already gone smoke-free-- engage them in your efforts.
-They will become your champions!
Focus on factors most important to them.
-Financial impact, legal complications, ease of enforcement, etc.
Work with state housing authority and larger developments to set a precedence around smoke-free housing.
Make it easy—always provide them with the resources to make the process as effortless as possible.
Things to Remember…
FREE smoke-free housing registry for landlords & tenants in ME
Landlord brochure, fact sheets, packets, training video- all downloadable from site
Tenant fact sheets in several languages-downloadable from site
Magnets, key chains & window clings for Maine landlords
Email [email_address] for technical assistance
Copies of this presentation available on SlideShare.net
You Have Resources
Tenant recruitment in 2010- the free and easy way to list your multi-units in Maine September 16, 2010 2-3pm EST Mark your calendar!