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Facilitating A Successful Levy Campaign

Facilitating A Successful Levy Campaign. Dave Kielmeyer Vice President Funk Luetke Skunda Marketing. Agenda. Current levy environment Early considerations Know your voter Cultivate the “Grass tops” Building an infrastructure Implementing the campaign. Current Levy Environment.

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Facilitating A Successful Levy Campaign

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  1. Facilitating A Successful Levy Campaign Dave Kielmeyer Vice PresidentFunk Luetke Skunda Marketing

  2. Agenda • Current levy environment • Early considerations • Know your voter • Cultivate the “Grass tops” • Building an infrastructure • Implementing the campaign

  3. Current Levy Environment Skepticism is widespread • Economic times are tough • Growing number of tax issues • Local issues bear brunt of tax frustration • “No New Tax” attitude • New tax initiatives have low passage rate • Renewal and replacements more successful

  4. Current Levy Environment No one pays attention • Saturated lifestyle • Information overload

  5. Current Levy Environment The Good News • The public will accept a contract • Voter empathy for MRDD • Social service requests often more palatable • less money than “big-ticket” measures like schools

  6. Early Considerations Business case • What do we want? What do we really need? • What is the public benefit? • Quantify the ask • Do the numbers add up?

  7. Early Considerations The importance of research • What does the public think? • What does community leadership/political leadership think?

  8. Know Your Voter – Secondary Research • Previous vote history • Who has supported us in the past • Who has voted against us in the past • General election vs. special/primary election • Absentee voters

  9. Know Your Voter – Primary Research (Polling) • Who do we talk to? How? • Likely voters based on vote history • Random sample of at least 300 • Phone survey

  10. Know Your Voter – Primary Research (Polling) • What do we ask? • Attitudes about MRDD programs and services • Attitudes on board’s money management/fiscal responsibility • Message testing – would you be more likely to vote for if you knew… • Would they vote for levy • Amount of funding they would support -- New, Replacement, Renewal • Demographics – age, sex, race

  11. Know Your Voter – Primary Research (Polling) • When do we Poll? • 6 to 9 months prior to election to gather data to help make decision on feasibility of passage/what to request • “Tracker Poll” 2 to 4 weeks prior to election to see if anything has changed

  12. Know Your Voter Election Environment • Analyze the election cycle • Historically when have we been the most successful? Primary?, General Election?, Large Turnout? • Threats/opportunities • What else is on the ballot? • Optimize your turnout • Turnout the YES vote

  13. Cultivate the Grass tops • Early, regular communications with: • County commissioners • Other local elected officials • Community leaders – business, service organizations, chamber, major employers etc. • Levy request must be politically palatable to leadership and voters

  14. Building an Infrastructure Leadership • Internal champion • External credibility • Financial point person

  15. Building an Infrastructure Winning with people • Building coalitions • Optimizing funding by Labor Day

  16. Building an Infrastructure Professional help • Research • Counsel • Campaign support • Criteria for selection

  17. Building an Infrastructure Pre-campaign support • Basic campaign case • Grass tops buy-in • Highly visible opportunities for public input • Raising awareness

  18. Getting on the Ballot • Deadline is 75 days before election • Know requirements and practices locally • Prepare all specifics of your request—amount of request, length of levy • Resources: Board of Elections, County Auditor Authorizing resolution must be passed by county commissioners

  19. Implementing the Campaign Theme • Peg to benefits • Keep it simple • Make it memorable

  20. Implementing the Campaign Strategic Plan • Voter targets • Tactical mix • Time line • Execution – who?

  21. Implementing the Campaign Direct Voter Contact • Absentee contact • Direct Mail • Speakers bureau • Phone • Events • Door-to-door • Poll greeters

  22. Implementing the Campaign Mass Media • Outdoor – signs vs. billboards • Radio • Print • Television

  23. Implementing the Campaign Free/earned media • Editor cultivation • Creative events • Case studies

  24. Summary • Assume voters will be ambivalent/skeptical/hostile • Find out where you stand • Get your act together • Pre-condition the grass tops • Make the campaign efficient • Enjoy your success

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