Thinking of a Ballot Measure Campaign for Active Transportation?
October 31, 2013 2 Comments
As the federal funding landscape changes, more states, regions and cities are looking for local sources of transportation dollars to help implement critical changes. As a result, there has been a recent surge of transportation ballot measures across the United States. With a 79 percent victory rate in 2012, voters are telling their governments that transportation matters – and voters are willing to pay for it.
Advocacy Advance compiled a report of advice from seasoned advocates from around the country. The report “Success at the Ballot Box: Winning Bicycle and Pedestrian Ballot Measures” lists six steps guiding advocates to campaign victories.
- Establish a timeline and understand the first steps in your campaign.
- Consider the election year and type.
- Understand the politics and learn how you get on the ballot. Understand where your voters will come from and how to reach out to them. (California already has a sales tax-add on enabling legislation, but needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass.)
- Find your champion.
- Test your message and stick to three or fewer talking points that resonate the most.
- Don’t just give data, answer “so what?”
The report cites examples of past successes as well as campaigns in progress around the country. For instance, while the East Bay Bicycle Coalition did not win the election for Measure B in Alameda County, they did succeed in gaining additional support from members and donors, and it all stemmed from their campaign to increase funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Details concerning campaign tips and the steps above are included in the report.