Our Clients Issue
One of the nation’s largest homebuilders needed to rezone 1,600 acres for a multibillion-dollar, mixed-use development to include 12,000 new homes and more than 1 million square feet of commercial uses. Intense opposition from the Sierra Club and local residents who wanted to preserve the
property’s agricultural uses threatened to kill the plans. We had to reverse pervasive public perception that ‘everybody’ in the region vehemently opposed the project and give public officials political cover to approve rezoning.
We designed and implemented a comprehensive campaign to identify, recruit and activate wide, visible community support for the project. Our campaign included:
- Telephone identification programs to identify supporters and residents who were persuadable within the community.
- Direct mail to educate residents about why the project was being proposed and how it would benefit the community.
- A field campaign to mobilize our supporters and further educate. Identified residents who were persuadable. Social media to raise awareness of the project and to allow residents to demonstrate direct-to-decision-maker support for the project.
- Using neighborhood board meetings as opportunities to present the project to the public
We identified 5,000 supporters, including more than 3,000 who signed postcards and 500 who sent individual letters to the board in support of the project. The project received unanimous support from three area neighborhood boards and was approved by the state land use agency by a wide margin.