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RV 2015: Lessons from Politics: Anatomy of a Campaign by Taiwo Jaiyeoba


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Opposition to government investment in public transit systems is on the rise by Tea Party activists and others. What can we learn by dissecting the strategies used in political campaigns? What lessons can we take away to ensure transit remains viable in the years to come? Learn how to employ those tactics used in political movements -- from ballot measures to lobbying -- to develop strong communication and outreach strategies and build public support for transit.

Moderator: Maurice Henderson, Assistant Director, Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland, Oregon
Hilary Reeves, Director of Strategic Advancement and Communications, Transit for Livable Communities, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Transit Principal, HDR, Atlanta, Georgia
Scott Haggerty, Supervisor, District 1, Alameda County, Board of Supervisors, Oakland, California

Published in: News & Politics
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RV 2015: Lessons from Politics: Anatomy of a Campaign by Taiwo Jaiyeoba

  1. 1. Anatomy of A Campaign - Strategies for Successful Transit Referendums Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Transit Principal – HDR, Inc.
  2. 2.  Reviewed Past Referendums (2009 to 2014)  Agency Interviews  Key Findings  In Conclusion Presentation Agenda
  3. 3. Past Referendums
  4. 4. 2009 to 2014 Referendum States Statistics: • 33 States (incl. Alaska) • 207 Measures (149 wins) • 72% win rate
  5. 5. 2009 to 2014 Review of Past Referendums Year States Measures* Win Loss Win % 2009 7 11 8 3 73% 2010 19 49 36 13 73% 2011 6 26 20 6 77% 2012 17 56 43 13 77% 2013 8 13 9 4 69% 2014 18 52 33 19 63% *Does not include uncounted measures.
  6. 6. Agency Interviews
  7. 7.  Interviewed agencies o 16 CEOs/Board Members o Identify Lessons Learned o Gain Practical Advice o Develop Reference Guide and Tools  Agency Interviews o Geographic Spread of the Referendums o Geographic Locations of the Communities o Political Leanings of the Communities o Types of Referendums o Sizes of the Agencies Interviews
  8. 8. Transit Referendum Outcomes Win Loss
  9. 9. Key Study Findings
  11. 11.  Define “what is in it for me?”  Broad outreach oMinority and community organizations  Clear Communication oWork Shops oOnline Surveys oFeedback BUILD COALITIONS
  12. 12.  The role of the executive: Education  The role of the champions: Advocacy  Trusted local leader(s)/or group  Sets the tone for the campaign  Consistent messaging THE RIGHT FACE OF THE CAMPAIGN “After the Strategic plans were in place, the Mayor came out favorably” – Michael Tree, General Manager (Missoula Urban Transportation District)
  13. 13.  State of the Economy  Local vs. General Election Year  Consider what is already on the ballot  Preparing and Planning  Realistic Expectations (Board & Agency Leadership)  Public Readiness CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME
  14. 14.  Benefits to the community o Frequent service o Improve facilities and equipment o Service Expansion  Consequences o Service cuts o No expansion o No Equipment Replacement o Loss of Employment  Legal Requirements FRAME THE ASK CORRECTLY  Making the case for referendum o Tell a positive story • How the community will benefit • Key Agency Awards  Clear Understanding o Ballot wording o Where is the money going?
  15. 15. Build Coalitions Identify Champions Right Timing Clearly Frame The “Ask” FLOW CHARTS FOR KEY FINDINGS
  16. 16. In Conclusion
  17. 17. THIS should be YOUR story: We Won! We Built Strong Coalitions! We Chose the Right Time! We Framed the Ask Clearly! We Selected the Right Face!
  18. 18. Anatomy of A Campaign - Strategies for Successful Transit Referendums Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Transit Principal – HDR, Inc.