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Ballot Box Breakthroughs

How The Fairness Project's ballot initiative strategy brought real economic progress to 8.1 million workers in 2016.

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Ballot Box Breakthroughs
How The Fairness Project’s Ballot Initiative Strategy Brought
Real Economic Progress to 8.1 Million Workers in 2016
2 3
Ballot Box Breakthroughs
How The Fairness Project’s Ballot Initiative Strategy Brought
Real Economic Progress to 8.1 Million Workers in 2016
www.thefairnessproject.org
PUTTING OUR
FAMILIES FIRST
There was a point when Tabatha
– a single mother in Portland,
Maine – kept her McDonald’s
uniform on underneath her
Dunkin Donuts apron because
she was almost always wearing
one or the other. She worked 18-
to 22-hour days for a little more
than $8 an hour. Working two
jobs was the only way she and
her children could survive.
Now, her wages will
go up 50% to $12 an hour.
PUTTING OUR
HEALTH FIRST
In Arizona, Desiree struggles to
raise three kids as a single mom.
Her employer did not offer sick
leave so when she got cancer
she had to get treatment without
taking off work. Once, she was
forced to put off a procedure
for so long her doctor told her it
might no longer be safe. “I was
thinking of having the procedure
and then signing myself out of
the hospital so I could return to
work,” Desiree said.
Now, for the first time
she will have paid sick leave.
2
4 5
Table of Contents
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ballot Initiatives Can Succeed Where Lawmakers Fail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ballot Initiatives Did Succeed Where Lawmakers Have Failed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Economic Ballot Initiatives are Some of the Best Money Spent in Politics . . . . . . .
How The Fairness Project Contributed to National and Local Success . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Early Investments Helped Get Campaigns Up and Running and
Attracted Significant Additional Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Using Data to Reach and Mobilize Key Demographics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Overall Strategic Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Enhanced Research and Messaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Sharing Best Practices and Strategic Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Building Business Support: Fair Pay Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Strong Digital Strategy and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
•	 Digital Supporter List-Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Just Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
6
8
8
10
11
12
13
16
16
16
17
18
19
19
PUTTING OUR
PEOPLE FIRST
Marilyn is a home health care
worker in Colorado. Despite 20
years of experience, she earns
just $9 an hour, the state’s
minimum wage. “I’m one
paycheck away from being
homeless,” she said. “I literally
have to balance every dime to
make sure I eat every day.”
Now, her wages will
go up to $12 an hour.
PUTTING OUR
WORKERS FIRST
Andy runs five restaurants
throughout Washington D.C.
and has seen firsthand how
workers earning low wages
impact local businesses.
Over the past two decades
he has heard the doomsday
predictions from businesses
afraid of improving their
business models.
From banning smoking inside
restaurants to paid sick leave
and now raising wages, Andy
has seen how business in
our Capital can thrive when
workers are supported.
4
6 7
In every jurisdiction in which The Fairness Project worked, significant
raises to the minimum wage were either voted into law on Election Day
or, prior to being put to a vote, enacted into law by elected officials who
cited the minimum wage ballot initiatives as their prime motivation.
Overview
In the weeks after the 2016 election, pundits
and progressives tried to make sense of
an outcome that shocked the world. As it
became clear Hillary Clinton would actually
win nearly 3 million more votes nationwide
than Donald Trump, the perverse nature of
our country’s presidential selection process
was once again fully revealed. For the
second time in 16 years, the wishes of the
minority triumphed over the wishes of the
majority, and a minority-supported president
was put into office (Al Gore received more
votes than George W. Bush in 2000).
But for those who struggled to analyze
the outcome of this upside-down set of
facts, where the majority still ruled and the
votes of everyone still mattered, they could
look to four places - Arizona, Colorado,
Maine, and Washington. Even as many
questioned why working people across the
country, especially in the industrial Midwest,
seemingly voted against their own economic
self-interest by electing Donald Trump,
voters in these locations overwhelmingly
supported ballot initiatives to raise the
minimum wage for 2.1 million working
people. This was in addition to the 6 million
workers who received raises from ballot
initiatives that motivated lawmakers to act
in California and the District of Columbia.
In total, ballot initiatives brought raises to
8.1 million working people, more than 10
percent of all wage earners in the United
States. In Arizona and Washington, voters
also approved paid sick leave for 2 million
workers.
Standing out of the spotlight but playing
a critical role in each of these efforts was
a 13-month-old organization called The
Fairness Project.
The Fairness Project is now positioned to multiply its
success in 2016, bringing even greater economic gains to
more working people in more states in 2017 and 2018.
In October 2015, built on the vision and
significant financial support of California
healthcare union SEIU-UHW, The Fairness
Project launched with a simple but profound
mission to change policies and solve the
economic problems facing working people
and their families in spite of the continued
failure of most politicians at the federal,
state, and local level.
No longer willing to wait for elected officials
to do their jobs, The Fairness Project
backed state- and city-based ballot initiative
campaigns and raised national awareness
of the need to bring economic fairness to
tens of millions of people. The campaigns
achieved this by putting political power
directly into the hands of voters to enact
the economic improvements they want
and need. In the 2016 election cycle, those
improvements involved raising the minimum
wage and providing paid sick leave to
millions.
The Fairness Project provides funding
directly to ballot initiative campaigns, but
unlike many other funders, it goes beyond
financial support to provide ongoing services
that give these campaigns cutting-edge
tools to build broad grassroots support and
ensure success on Election Day. Services
include digital outreach and social media;
data, analytics, and targeting; strategic
planning; opinion research; media support;
and national campaign coordination.
And with little hope that the federal
government will pass policies to reduce
economic inequality and put more money
into the pockets of working people, it will
be more important than ever to make these
gains through direct democracy at the state
and local level. Using its successful model,
The Fairness Project is poised to lead and
support those efforts.
Note: In both California and Washington D.C., elected leaders cited active minimum wage ballot
initiatives supported by The Fairness Project as the driving force behind enacting the legislation.
7
ARIZONA
Passed 58.7-41.3%; raises for
779,000 workers (+934,000
will get paid sick leave); raises
the minimum wage $3.95
over four years
CALIFORNIA
Passed by state legislature;
raises for 5.6 million workers;
raises the minimum wage
$5 over six years
COLORADO
Passed 55.1-44.9%; raises for
488,000 workers; raises the
minimum wage $3.69
over four years
MAINE
Passed 55.5-44.5%; raises for
181,000 workers; raises the
minimum wage $4.50 over
four years; eliminates lower
tipped wage by 2024
WASHINGTON
Passed 58.1-42.0%; raises for
730,000 workers (+1 million
will get paid sick leave); raises
the minimum wage $4.03
over four years
WASHINGTON D.C.
Passed by city council; raises
for 127,000 workers; raises
the minimum wage $3.50
over four years
8 9
Ballot Initiatives
Can Succeed Where
Lawmakers Fail
The ballot initiatives supported by The
Fairness Project showed the power of
issue-based direct democracy. Candidate-
centered political campaigns are often
more theater than substance. They are
fraught with complex and often off-putting
interactions between candidates, confusing
– sometime contradictory – positions on
a multitude of issues, and, in this election,
blatantly false claims, fake news stories, and
the meddling of foreign governments. All
this confounds voters’ decision-making and
turns them off to the idea that politicians
will improve their lives.
Ballot initiatives, on the other hand, are
relatively straightforward and simple, even
when opposing viewpoints are put before
the electorate.
“Our families will dictate
the future of Arizona,
not politicians, not
special interest groups,
and not even a party.”
– Tomas Robles, Campaign Chair,
Arizona Healthy Working Families
But ballot initiatives still need to compete
on a crowded and sometimes overwhelming
field – with billions of dollars spent to get
voters’ attention – and break through to
reach voters. That’s where The Fairness
Project can tip the scales. Providing the
best and most cutting-edge political tools
to effective ground-based organizations
significantly raises the chances of success.
Ballot Initiatives
Did Succeed Where
Lawmakers Have Failed
Congress has failed to raise the wage for
eight years and many states’ legislators
have dragged their feet for just as long.
So in 2016 voters took action in their own
states to pass extremely popular economic
fairness policies. The minimum wage and
paid leave ballot initiatives were so popular
in 2016 that they far outstripped the appeal
of candidates. The measures passed by a
larger margin and bigger vote totals than
the winning presidential candidate in all
four states. And, in Maine and Washington,
more votes were cast for the minimum
wage ballot initiatives than were cast in the
presidential race. That means that some
supporters who turned out to vote for the
initiatives didn’t vote for the top of the
ticket. The widespread support shows that
these initiatives appealed to independents
and voters of all political stripes. The results
show that many people who voted for
Trump or for more conservative down-ballot
candidates also voted in favor of raising
the minimum wage and providing paid
sick leave.
“For over a year, Arizona
Healthy Families, working
with The Fairness Project,
has been reaching out to the
Latino community and the
organizations that are integral
to it. Our victory November
8th was due to our investment
in our Latino community that
wants to fix their economy
and create a better future for
their families.”
– Tomas Robles, Campaign Chair,
Arizona Healthy Working Families
9
*Senator Patty Murray was the only candidate to win by a larger margin than the minimum wage. She also
was the only Senate candidate who campaigned on behalf of the minimum wage initiative and made it a
major component of her campaign.
“Amendment 70 is one of the first things people [were] so
excited to vote for. We did voter registration and people
weren’t so excited about the candidates we had this election
cycle, but as soon as we talked about Amendment 70 and the
impact it will have for Colorado, they were so thrilled. They
were like, ‘Where do I vote? Do I vote now? When?’”
– CARLA CASTEDO, COLORADO DIRECTOR, MI FAMILIA VOTA
In coming election cycles, The Fairness Project will support ballot initiatives to
advance economic fairness on more issues and in a growing number of states.
10 11
Economic Ballot Initiatives are Some
of the Best Money Spent in Politics
This cycle, ballot initiatives proved to be some of the best money spent in politics by providing
massive returns on investment. For the amount spent by The Fairness Project, there will be tens of
billions of dollars in economic benefits to workers, their families, and entire communities.
11
Conducting opinion research in partnership with the states to develop
winnable ballot language and clear messaging to help drive campaigns
Developing data models that enabled campaigns to reach and mobilize
voters who would be most impacted by and most likely to vote for the
initiatives, especially women and people of color
Investing early through partnerships with
state-based, grassroots organizations
Sharing best practices on what
worked across the country
Counseling campaigns facing difficult challenges
during various phases of the campaigns
Deploying staff to states to provide
on-the-ground support
Building support from business leaders to negate opposition
by showing that higher wages are good for business
Providing critical ongoing services throughout the campaigns,
such as overall strategy, research, data analytics, and digital support
in direct partnership with the state-based campaigns
Generating media coverage that gave greater visibility to the campaigns;
elevating the issues to make sure they were in the public discourse leading
up to Election Day; and encouraging candidates for office to take a
position on the initiative
How The Fairness Project Contributed
to National and Local Success
The Fairness Project’s expertise helped guide local partners through the planning, signature filings,
initial and post signature-gathering filings, and execution phases of their campaigns, helping them
use their resources most effectively—and win.
The support The Fairness Project provided to these six ballot initiatives contributed significantly to
the final outcome. The contributions included:

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Ballot Box Breakthroughs

  • 1. Ballot Box Breakthroughs How The Fairness Project’s Ballot Initiative Strategy Brought Real Economic Progress to 8.1 Million Workers in 2016
  • 2. 2 3 Ballot Box Breakthroughs How The Fairness Project’s Ballot Initiative Strategy Brought Real Economic Progress to 8.1 Million Workers in 2016 www.thefairnessproject.org PUTTING OUR FAMILIES FIRST There was a point when Tabatha – a single mother in Portland, Maine – kept her McDonald’s uniform on underneath her Dunkin Donuts apron because she was almost always wearing one or the other. She worked 18- to 22-hour days for a little more than $8 an hour. Working two jobs was the only way she and her children could survive. Now, her wages will go up 50% to $12 an hour. PUTTING OUR HEALTH FIRST In Arizona, Desiree struggles to raise three kids as a single mom. Her employer did not offer sick leave so when she got cancer she had to get treatment without taking off work. Once, she was forced to put off a procedure for so long her doctor told her it might no longer be safe. “I was thinking of having the procedure and then signing myself out of the hospital so I could return to work,” Desiree said. Now, for the first time she will have paid sick leave. 2
  • 3. 4 5 Table of Contents Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ballot Initiatives Can Succeed Where Lawmakers Fail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ballot Initiatives Did Succeed Where Lawmakers Have Failed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Economic Ballot Initiatives are Some of the Best Money Spent in Politics . . . . . . . How The Fairness Project Contributed to National and Local Success . . . . . . . . . . • Early Investments Helped Get Campaigns Up and Running and Attracted Significant Additional Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Using Data to Reach and Mobilize Key Demographics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Overall Strategic Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Enhanced Research and Messaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Sharing Best Practices and Strategic Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Building Business Support: Fair Pay Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Strong Digital Strategy and Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Digital Supporter List-Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Just Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 6 8 8 10 11 12 13 16 16 16 17 18 19 19 PUTTING OUR PEOPLE FIRST Marilyn is a home health care worker in Colorado. Despite 20 years of experience, she earns just $9 an hour, the state’s minimum wage. “I’m one paycheck away from being homeless,” she said. “I literally have to balance every dime to make sure I eat every day.” Now, her wages will go up to $12 an hour. PUTTING OUR WORKERS FIRST Andy runs five restaurants throughout Washington D.C. and has seen firsthand how workers earning low wages impact local businesses. Over the past two decades he has heard the doomsday predictions from businesses afraid of improving their business models. From banning smoking inside restaurants to paid sick leave and now raising wages, Andy has seen how business in our Capital can thrive when workers are supported. 4
  • 4. 6 7 In every jurisdiction in which The Fairness Project worked, significant raises to the minimum wage were either voted into law on Election Day or, prior to being put to a vote, enacted into law by elected officials who cited the minimum wage ballot initiatives as their prime motivation. Overview In the weeks after the 2016 election, pundits and progressives tried to make sense of an outcome that shocked the world. As it became clear Hillary Clinton would actually win nearly 3 million more votes nationwide than Donald Trump, the perverse nature of our country’s presidential selection process was once again fully revealed. For the second time in 16 years, the wishes of the minority triumphed over the wishes of the majority, and a minority-supported president was put into office (Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush in 2000). But for those who struggled to analyze the outcome of this upside-down set of facts, where the majority still ruled and the votes of everyone still mattered, they could look to four places - Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington. Even as many questioned why working people across the country, especially in the industrial Midwest, seemingly voted against their own economic self-interest by electing Donald Trump, voters in these locations overwhelmingly supported ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage for 2.1 million working people. This was in addition to the 6 million workers who received raises from ballot initiatives that motivated lawmakers to act in California and the District of Columbia. In total, ballot initiatives brought raises to 8.1 million working people, more than 10 percent of all wage earners in the United States. In Arizona and Washington, voters also approved paid sick leave for 2 million workers. Standing out of the spotlight but playing a critical role in each of these efforts was a 13-month-old organization called The Fairness Project. The Fairness Project is now positioned to multiply its success in 2016, bringing even greater economic gains to more working people in more states in 2017 and 2018. In October 2015, built on the vision and significant financial support of California healthcare union SEIU-UHW, The Fairness Project launched with a simple but profound mission to change policies and solve the economic problems facing working people and their families in spite of the continued failure of most politicians at the federal, state, and local level. No longer willing to wait for elected officials to do their jobs, The Fairness Project backed state- and city-based ballot initiative campaigns and raised national awareness of the need to bring economic fairness to tens of millions of people. The campaigns achieved this by putting political power directly into the hands of voters to enact the economic improvements they want and need. In the 2016 election cycle, those improvements involved raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave to millions. The Fairness Project provides funding directly to ballot initiative campaigns, but unlike many other funders, it goes beyond financial support to provide ongoing services that give these campaigns cutting-edge tools to build broad grassroots support and ensure success on Election Day. Services include digital outreach and social media; data, analytics, and targeting; strategic planning; opinion research; media support; and national campaign coordination. And with little hope that the federal government will pass policies to reduce economic inequality and put more money into the pockets of working people, it will be more important than ever to make these gains through direct democracy at the state and local level. Using its successful model, The Fairness Project is poised to lead and support those efforts. Note: In both California and Washington D.C., elected leaders cited active minimum wage ballot initiatives supported by The Fairness Project as the driving force behind enacting the legislation. 7 ARIZONA Passed 58.7-41.3%; raises for 779,000 workers (+934,000 will get paid sick leave); raises the minimum wage $3.95 over four years CALIFORNIA Passed by state legislature; raises for 5.6 million workers; raises the minimum wage $5 over six years COLORADO Passed 55.1-44.9%; raises for 488,000 workers; raises the minimum wage $3.69 over four years MAINE Passed 55.5-44.5%; raises for 181,000 workers; raises the minimum wage $4.50 over four years; eliminates lower tipped wage by 2024 WASHINGTON Passed 58.1-42.0%; raises for 730,000 workers (+1 million will get paid sick leave); raises the minimum wage $4.03 over four years WASHINGTON D.C. Passed by city council; raises for 127,000 workers; raises the minimum wage $3.50 over four years
  • 5. 8 9 Ballot Initiatives Can Succeed Where Lawmakers Fail The ballot initiatives supported by The Fairness Project showed the power of issue-based direct democracy. Candidate- centered political campaigns are often more theater than substance. They are fraught with complex and often off-putting interactions between candidates, confusing – sometime contradictory – positions on a multitude of issues, and, in this election, blatantly false claims, fake news stories, and the meddling of foreign governments. All this confounds voters’ decision-making and turns them off to the idea that politicians will improve their lives. Ballot initiatives, on the other hand, are relatively straightforward and simple, even when opposing viewpoints are put before the electorate. “Our families will dictate the future of Arizona, not politicians, not special interest groups, and not even a party.” – Tomas Robles, Campaign Chair, Arizona Healthy Working Families But ballot initiatives still need to compete on a crowded and sometimes overwhelming field – with billions of dollars spent to get voters’ attention – and break through to reach voters. That’s where The Fairness Project can tip the scales. Providing the best and most cutting-edge political tools to effective ground-based organizations significantly raises the chances of success. Ballot Initiatives Did Succeed Where Lawmakers Have Failed Congress has failed to raise the wage for eight years and many states’ legislators have dragged their feet for just as long. So in 2016 voters took action in their own states to pass extremely popular economic fairness policies. The minimum wage and paid leave ballot initiatives were so popular in 2016 that they far outstripped the appeal of candidates. The measures passed by a larger margin and bigger vote totals than the winning presidential candidate in all four states. And, in Maine and Washington, more votes were cast for the minimum wage ballot initiatives than were cast in the presidential race. That means that some supporters who turned out to vote for the initiatives didn’t vote for the top of the ticket. The widespread support shows that these initiatives appealed to independents and voters of all political stripes. The results show that many people who voted for Trump or for more conservative down-ballot candidates also voted in favor of raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave. “For over a year, Arizona Healthy Families, working with The Fairness Project, has been reaching out to the Latino community and the organizations that are integral to it. Our victory November 8th was due to our investment in our Latino community that wants to fix their economy and create a better future for their families.” – Tomas Robles, Campaign Chair, Arizona Healthy Working Families 9 *Senator Patty Murray was the only candidate to win by a larger margin than the minimum wage. She also was the only Senate candidate who campaigned on behalf of the minimum wage initiative and made it a major component of her campaign. “Amendment 70 is one of the first things people [were] so excited to vote for. We did voter registration and people weren’t so excited about the candidates we had this election cycle, but as soon as we talked about Amendment 70 and the impact it will have for Colorado, they were so thrilled. They were like, ‘Where do I vote? Do I vote now? When?’” – CARLA CASTEDO, COLORADO DIRECTOR, MI FAMILIA VOTA In coming election cycles, The Fairness Project will support ballot initiatives to advance economic fairness on more issues and in a growing number of states.
  • 6. 10 11 Economic Ballot Initiatives are Some of the Best Money Spent in Politics This cycle, ballot initiatives proved to be some of the best money spent in politics by providing massive returns on investment. For the amount spent by The Fairness Project, there will be tens of billions of dollars in economic benefits to workers, their families, and entire communities. 11 Conducting opinion research in partnership with the states to develop winnable ballot language and clear messaging to help drive campaigns Developing data models that enabled campaigns to reach and mobilize voters who would be most impacted by and most likely to vote for the initiatives, especially women and people of color Investing early through partnerships with state-based, grassroots organizations Sharing best practices on what worked across the country Counseling campaigns facing difficult challenges during various phases of the campaigns Deploying staff to states to provide on-the-ground support Building support from business leaders to negate opposition by showing that higher wages are good for business Providing critical ongoing services throughout the campaigns, such as overall strategy, research, data analytics, and digital support in direct partnership with the state-based campaigns Generating media coverage that gave greater visibility to the campaigns; elevating the issues to make sure they were in the public discourse leading up to Election Day; and encouraging candidates for office to take a position on the initiative How The Fairness Project Contributed to National and Local Success The Fairness Project’s expertise helped guide local partners through the planning, signature filings, initial and post signature-gathering filings, and execution phases of their campaigns, helping them use their resources most effectively—and win. The support The Fairness Project provided to these six ballot initiatives contributed significantly to the final outcome. The contributions included:
  • 7. 12 13 Early Investments Helped Get Campaigns Up and Running and Attracted Significant Additional Contributions Early money gave the state-based organizations credibility, and that enabled them to attract additional investment, hire top talent, and maintain a two-way conversation with voters over the course of a year-long campaign. Our partners could spend their money efficiently – e.g. relatively less-expensive early media buys or signature gathering – and build a strong base of support that in most states forced the opposition to effectively concede without much of a fight. Maine was The Fairness Project’s first partner. Early funding allowed Maine’s existing grassroots campaign to collect signatures at a lower cost – largely through volunteers. They built one of the most successful business organizing efforts of all the states, with more than 600 businesses in support of the measure, far surpassing those opposed. The early money also allowed the team to begin conversations with voters more than a year-and-a-half before Election Day. The Maine campaign used the additional time to build early support among voters and awareness among journalists of the benefits of the most controversial part of the initiative that ended the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers. By the time the election cycle was in full swing, the opposition had virtually given up. In California and Washington D.C., early organizing created enough of a groundswell of demonstrated support for the ballot initiatives to propel legislative action to raise the wage to $15. In California, a crowded year for ballot initiatives meant signature-gathering firms were charging $6 or $7 a signature by the time the cycle was in full swing. Because Lift Up California started early, it began collecting signatures before demand drove up the costs and paid less than $1 for each. The initiative qualified for the ballot on March 22, 2016. Lawmakers in California recognized the inevitability of its passing, spurring them to act. Legislation very similar to the ballot language passed on March 31 and was signed into law April 4. Governor Jerry Brown credited the initiative campaign. In Washington D.C., grassroots campaigners had a large coalition and deep infrastructure that allowed them to move past legal challenges to the measure and prepare to collect signatures to qualify it in spring 2016. Polling in support of the measure was nearly 90 percent, and that, plus the inevitability that it would qualify for the ballot propelled Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city council to reach an agreement in June to raise the minimum wage to $15. “TFP’s involvement was of the ‘let us know how we can help’ mold. They did not attempt to assert control or undue influence. Rather, they offered insights and advice as needed, and were clear that TFP was supporting the campaign leadership, not attempting to override the campaign’s strategy or direction.” – Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Campaign Manager, Washington state Using Data to Reach and Mobilize Key Demographics The fight to raise the minimum wage disproportionately affects women and people of color. Though women make up 50.8 percent of the population, 55 percent of workers impacted by these successful ballot initiatives are women. Similarly, in California, Latinos make up 38.8 percent of the population, but 55 percent of workers affected by the minimum wage increase were Latino. Unfortunately, those most affected by the measures were also the least likely to go far enough down the ballot to vote on them. To combat this, The Fairness Project for the first time brought data and analytics to grassroots state campaigns by creating highly sophisticated modeling and targeting tools that otherwise were unlikely to have been available due to their cost and complexity. The Fairness Project provided state partners with data modeling typically reserved for top of ticket campaigns. Ballot activists in Arizona, Washington, and Colorado used this data to find, reach, and inform their most likely voters and preserve this information for use in other social justice work and in the next election cycle. These models included: • Support Model: Provides an individual- level view of support for the ballot measures that traditional polling cannot. • Turnout Model: Predicts each individual voter’s likelihood of voting in the election. • Ballot Completion Model: Identifies voters who may need extra attention to ensure they vote on all the questions on the ballot, not just President or U.S. Senate and Congress. It can mean the difference between winning and losing. This model is unique to The Fairness Project and is new to campaigns this year. • Persuasion Model: Predicts a voter’s likelihood of being swayed by a persuasive argument – either for or California Governor Jerry Brown: “I guess what really cemented this deal was... quite frankly the specter of the initiative.” California Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon: “(T)here is a ballot initiative that’s already qualified and, short of any negotiated deal, it goes to the ballot. And all the polling that I’ve seen…folks are supporting a minimum wage increase across the board.” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser: “I think that the ballot initiative really propelled everybody to act urgently, and we want to thank people for making us all think clearly about what it means to not have good paying jobs in the District and be able to afford to live here.” 13
  • 8. 14 15 against – and helps the campaigns target just the voters for whom the pro-measure persuasion messaging will work. • Get-out-the-Vote (GOTV) Model: Predicts the efficiency of reaching out to an individual voter with a GOTV message so campaigns can focus their resources on speaking with voters who both need GOTV and are very likely to respond to it. • Vote-by-Mail Model: Helps campaigns predict who is likely to request a mail-in ballot so they can time their outreach to a specific voter based on his or her propensity to return their ballot early. This information is critical given that each election, more and more voters cast their ballots prior to Election Day. The models were highly successful and received high praise from the campaigns for making their outreach more efficient, cost- effective, and successful. The modeling had an impact on all parts of the campaigns’ programs, including targeting, media buys, and direct mail, which contributed to the increased popularity of these down-ballot initiatives. While ballot campaigns typically anticipate approximately five percent fewer votes than the top of the ticket in these states, our partners reversed that trend. The drop-off on the minimum wage ballots this year was approximately 1.45 percent in Colorado and Arizona. In Washington, more people voted on the ballot initiative than on the presidential race. • Arizona: The models enabled the campaign to run a program that ensured a set of candidates in targeted legislative districts incorporated the minimum wage ballot initiative and minimum wage messaging into their races. This included targeting voters who supported the minimum wage as the first issue but also primed them with messages about their own candidacies. The Arizona campaign hit 300,000 doors identified by the models. • Colorado: The only campaign with a strong opposition, the Colorado initiative’s polls began to tighten as Election Day neared. The ballot completion model was particularly useful for this campaign by helping identify voters and increase the margin of victory to more than 10 points, surpassing expectations. • Washington: The campaign reported that The Fairness Project modeling was an immediate upgrade to their field organizing, offering a degree of accuracy and efficiency the campaign had not seen before and would not have had on its own. The models will have an impact on the entire progressive infrastructure in Washington because every union in the state now has information on voters who support increasing the minimum wage. This will allow them to continue to organize around this and other economic issues beyond the lifespan of the ballot initiative campaign. • Washington D.C.: The Fairness Project’s efforts confirmed the campaign’s own data work. Our funding allowed the campaign to access top technology like the VAN database, ensuring any information captured through their efforts would be available for use in other campaigns and in election cycles to come. Without these resources from The Fairness Project, data collection would not have been implemented from the beginning of the campaign. “Having an experienced national communications director helped us get coverage for Raise Up WA outside of our state.” – Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Campaign Manager, Washington state PUTTING OUR CHILDREN FIRST Kazoua makes minimum wage as a cashier at a grocery store in California. Her family lives paycheck to paycheck and struggles every month to cover the rent, bills, and groceries. Recently the family’s car and air conditioner broke down and they didn’t have the money to fix it, making getting to work and living comfortably a real challenge. She worries constantly about how she’ll pay the bills and afford food and other basics they need to live. Mostly she worries about how to provide a better life for her son, Maliki. Her husband and she would love to move to a safer neighborhood to escape the many burglaries and other crimes where they live. They’d love to send Maliki to daycare so he can be around other children more and even send him to college one day. Until the wage increased, that all seemed impossible. Earning $15 an hour, they can begin to afford to dream. PUTTING OUR COMMUNITY FIRST Ariana started working at Safeway in Washington state ten years ago. Over that time, she has met many coworkers like her, struggling at or near the minimum wage. She shared her thoughts, “When these people work hard and play by the rules, they don’t get ahead.” She sees firsthand how the system is broken. Ariana and her coworkers were unable to take time off when they or their families were sick, forcing workers to make difficult choices between caring for their loved ones or exposing customers to their illness. That’s why she was a Citizen Sponsor of the minimum wage and paid sick leave ballot initiative. Now, she and her co-workers will earn higher wages and can take time off to care for themselves and their families. 1514
  • 9. 16 17 reporters, offering campaigns a chance to shape the national narrative surrounding their measures, identify their benefits, and highlight their impact. Building Business Support: Fair Pay Today From the very beginning, The Fairness Project recognized the need to go beyond the obvious base of voters to build support for our ballot initiatives—especially in the business community. The Fairness Project collaborated with private companies like Dr. Bronner’s (the top natural soap brand in North America) and business organizations like Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage to create a large business coalition comprised of companies committed to paying fair wages, like Organic Valley, Stonyfield, Seventh Generation, MOM’s Organic Market, and Maine Root. These companies embrace fair wages as a good model for boosting business and the economy by improving employee retention and productivity and increasing employees’ buying power. The Fairness Project played a key role in bringing this business coalition together and worked with them as they made the compelling case that well-run companies can pay fair wages and thrive. Their public support for raising the minimum wage included contributions to the campaigns as well as special product labels, in-store displays, social media outreach, and product giveaways. In Colorado and Maine in particular, this coalition provided state campaigns with valuable and visible business support for the initiatives to counter opposition. Developing these relationships made the difference in diminishing the opposition and neutralizing their arguments. Maine’s campaign courted such a wide range of small business buy-in that it discouraged businesses opposed to the wage increase from organizing against it. 4 STATES WILL VOTE ON RAISING MINIMUM WAGE If all four ballot initiatives are approved, they could directly benefit roughly 2.1 million workers, according to The Fairness Project, which partners with minimum wage campaigns across the country. AUMENTO AL SALARIO MÍNIMO VA A LAS URNAS EN CUATRO ESTADOS Es hora de que los políticos atiendan estos reclamos, tomando en cuenta que muchos niños provienen de hogares de bajos recursos, o sumidos en la pobreza en EEUU. GOP POLS WON’T RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE — SO VOTERS ARE ABOUT TO Fed up with legislative inaction, labor advocates are putting wage increases directly before the voters. 17 Overall Strategic Advice Over the course of the campaign, The Fairness Project’s team provided trusted strategic advice to support state partners in critical decision-making moments. For example, The Fairness Project worked with the Colorado campaign to confront a possible onslaught of opposition ads worth millions of dollars, when the campaign itself had planned to spend under $1 million on television. Because of the relationship The Fairness Project developed with the campaign, it was able to step in and work with the team to reorganize their budget and bring another million dollars into the campaign to produce ads that countered the opposition. “TFP provided the perfect level of support to the campaign. There were weekly communications calls, [TFP’s Executive Director] participated in both Steering and Executive Committee calls, and he was diligent about returning calls and troubleshooting with the campaign.” – Carlo Caldirola-Davis, Campaign Manager, Washington state “We were able to do much more precise targeting than we otherwise would have. Understanding our turnout and roll-off universes were particularly helpful in all of our field work.” – Patty Kupfer, Campaign Manager, Colorado Enhanced Research and Messaging One of the more expensive needs at the start of a campaign is polling, which can run tens of thousands of dollars. Polls are critical to testing the viability of a measure, creating the ballot language to file with a state or city, and creating a messaging framework that attracts voters. When these objectives are met, it allows campaigns to build infrastructure early and start attracting additional funding. The Fairness Project’s early opinion research funding gave campaigns in California, Arizona, and Maine the data to determine whether the issue was sufficient to build a strong base of supporters and where to target their efforts. Early polling allowed them to make informed decisions as the campaigns developed. Sharing Best Practices and Strategic Advice In past cycles, ballot initiatives often resided in state-specific silos. Campaigns could only learn from the experiences of the local grassroots organizations immediately involved. The Fairness Project also connected ballot initiative campaigns with nationally renowned communications and digital strategists and organizers to help give them the boost they needed to win. In particular, The Fairness Project’s ability to work with reporters and generate social media attention created a national spotlight on how the ballot initiatives would play a major role in raising wages. The Fairness Project worked with states to elevate stories in the media that showed the hardship of low wages on families, communities, and business, and showed clearly how ballot initiatives offered a solution. In the final weeks of the election, The Fairness Project hosted press calls with campaign representatives and national The Fairness Project’s ability to provide strategic support and scale resources across the country removed the barriers between these campaigns to ensure the sharing of best practices.
  • 10. 18 19 Digital Supporter List-Building The Fairness Project built an email list on the national level of more than 150,000 supporters that included supporters in each target state. After cultivating the list on the national level, TFP provided the Arizona and Colorado campaigns with lists of local supporters as they got off the ground. The Fairness Project also provided campaigns with best practices on mobilizing supporters through email to ensure communication was as effective as possible. Just Getting Started There is no doubt that 2016 was a profoundly difficult year for those who support progressive change. But The Fairness Project was able to buck the trend by utilizing ballot initiatives to achieve sound economic policies that will continue to bring critical improvements to the lives of working Americans. Starting in January 2017, millions of workers saw bigger paychecks, and that will continue for years to come. By putting solutions to our broken economy directly before voters, The Fairness Project is helping to tip the scale of power in favor of working families and clearing a path forward for economic fairness. This model, which unites a national team with effective, grassroots organizations to share resources and expertise, is a game-changer. The Fairness Project is looking forward to going beyond minimum wage, building on the success of 2016 and taking to heart the lessons learned this cycle to work even more effectively and with even more states and localities in 2017, 2018, and beyond. Together, we will bring positive economic change on a massive scale to American workers and their families. Minimum wage hikes in four states show path for labor under Trump 4 states just voted to hike their minimum wage Minimum-Wage Hikes Go Straight to the Ballot Box This Election Could Add More to Your Paycheck—If You Live in These States Voters could give 2 million workers a raise on Election Day Strong Digital Strategy and Support From the very beginning, The Fairness Project developed a strong digital presence, building a national audience of more than 150,000 subscribers on email, 80,000 users on Facebook, and 32,000 followers on Twitter that allowed the organization to amplify each state’s messages. In addition to helping communicate with supporters, The Fairness Project’s digital reach helped hone messaging by learning what talking points and content activated key audiences across the country through email and social media. The Fairness Project also arranged and paid for state campaigns to get advice from the best talent from President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking 2008 and 2012 digital operations that enabled them to maximize their online impact with minimum expense. The Fairness Project often filled in gaps for state social media and email outreach efforts until the campaigns could support their own channels. In Colorado, for example, the state’s campaign did not have a digital manager until weeks following their launch. The Fairness Project stepped in to develop social content to attract online supporters. The Fairness Project also saved campaigns time and money by providing the most cutting-edge tools for managing websites, an important yet often-neglected campaign tactic to communicate with supporters. “We were late in the game bringing on our social media staff and Sandra from The Fairness Project was a huge help in getting us through until then, drafting and making graphics for us.” – Patty Kupfer, Campaign Manager, Colorado The Fairness Project created a powerful customizable website designed around common needs, but tailored each site to the specific requirements of the state campaigns. The Fairness Project team provided ongoing web support and training to ensure the campaigns best utilized these tools and were able to build upon online momentum to capture potential volunteers. • Arizona: This state’s campaign launched later than many others, not until summer 2016. But with The Fairness Project’s help, the campaign launched its website quickly, working to immediately collect information on potential supporters. • Colorado: The campaign manager was hired after the campaign launched and was immediately swamped with developing the messaging plan and handling operational concerns. The Fairness Project stepped in to quickly build a website that allowed the manager to focus on getting the rest of the campaign off the ground. • Washington D.C.: Despite support from nearly 90% of likely voters, the campaign suffered an early setback from a baseless lawsuit. Once the campaign began collecting signatures, it needed a proper website quickly to collect new supporters through digital outreach. The Fairness Project team was able to get the campaign’s website online in time for the launch. “We would not have had a website without The Fairness Project. This platform proved to be quite successful as both a repository and reference point for our messaging.” – Suzanne Wilson, Campaign Manager, Arizona 19