Laying the Foundation for a Successful Parcel Tax
CliffordMoss had teamed up with Lafayette School District (LAFSD) two years before to successfully pass a school bond. However, it did not eliminate severe budget constraints that were already impacting instruction. Despite substantial cuts, more funding was needed in order to preserve the highly valued instructional programs and services that help Lafayette TK-8 schools rank among the best in the state.
Long before placing a parcel tax on the ballot, CliffordMoss and LAFSD leadership worked together to evaluate potential solutions and develop a comprehensive pre-electoral public engagement strategy. If a parcel tax was the solution, the leadership needed to know what the community thought BEFORE they made any decisions. This plan, which provided a blueprint for assessment, listening, and engagement, included….
- Early diagnostics, research, analysis, and communications planning
- Establishing a School Board sub-committee to drive the process
- Board member interviews and listening
- Extensive community leader interviews and listening
- A two-way survey mailer sent to the community (AND a follow-up mailer sharing the results)
- Media engagement (including coordinated messages on social media, print publications, and online “public service announcements”)
- Superintendent’s e-messages to the community
- School site stakeholder engagement and listening meetings
- A volunteer-driven door-to-door effort to inform community members of LAFSD’s needs and challenges, and collect feedback
- Public Board Meetings
- And more!
After a sustained, long-term community listening effort, the School Board ultimately decided to place a $290 parcel tax on the ballot, knowing the amount meant that a comprehensive independent campaign effort would be needed in order to pass Measure L.
The campaign team that came together left no stone unturned. The core committee recruited a volunteer army, which went on to contact thousands of voters via phones, precinct walks, text messages, and emails, as well as provide support on social media. Simultaneously, the team collected more than 1,200 endorsements from all segments of the community, including the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, the League of Women Voters, the East Bay Times, and key groups.
The tireless work invested by LAFSD leadership and volunteers to engage with the community long BEFORE important decisions were made set the table for future success. Teamwork and flawless execution from both District leadership and campaign volunteers pushed Measure L well over the two-thirds threshold, achieving a whopping 73% on election day.
BONNIE MOSS (510) 757-9023 [email protected]
TOM CLIFFORD (510) 847-7155 [email protected]
AMANDA CLIFFORD (415) 244-5990 [email protected]
LAURA CROTTY (408) 839-5556 [email protected]