CLIENT: City of Providence
ISSUE: Just two months after being sworn into office, Mayor Angel Taveras announced that the City of Providence was facing a staggering $180 million budget deficit. On the brink of insolvency and bankruptcy, the unprecedented fiscal crisis threatened the very future of the City.
CAMPAIGN: The City of Providence engaged Advocacy Solutions to clearly communicate the seriousness of the fiscal crisis to residents, business owners, and elected leaders, and to rally residents to join together to build a “Stronger Providence” by supporting the City’s legislative agenda. To achieve these goals, Advocacy Solutions:
- Developed an integrated “Stronger Providence” public and government relations campaign plan to inform key City constituencies about the seriousness of the fiscal crisis.
- Developed fact sheets, Power Point presentations, and a Stronger Providence petition for residents to sign.
- Launched a City-wide “Fiscal Honesty Tour,” where the Mayor personally addressed neighborhood groups, residents, and business organizations, laid out the reasons for the fiscal crisis, and answered questions from audience members.
- Drafted and placed op-eds and letters to the editor in the Providence Journal, Providence Monthly, and other community papers supporting the Mayor’s honest assessment of and solutions to the fiscal crises.
- Lobbied the Rhode Island General Assembly and Governor’s office to support the City’s legislative agenda, designed to give the City the tools needed to address the crisis.
- Organized Providence neighborhood groups and citizens to attend committee hearings and a Stronger Providence State House Day to support the City’s legislative agenda.
RESULTS: Despite announcing the need for painful tax increases, school closures, and controversial union concessions, opinion polling revealed wide-spread public support for the Mayor’s leadership and his handling of the financial crisis. In addition, the General Assembly passed the majority of the City’s legislative agenda, providing the City with nearly $18 million in savings.
Working closely with the Mayor and City officials, Advocacy Solutions truly helped to build a Stronger Providence.