Yes On 7 – Housing Opportunity Bond

Client: United Way of RI / Housing coalition

Issue: During the 2016 General Election, Rhode Island voters were presented with a $50 million Housing Opportunity bond referendum (Question 7) for the construction of affordable housing across the state, and to help municipalities revitalize blighted and foreclosed properties. The state’s housing organizations united to form a Question 7 coalition, and engaged Advocacy Solutions and William A. Farrell & Associates to run a state-wide public affairs campaign, with key media and voter outreach strategies, to win the its passage.

Campaign: Our team developed and executed a three-month statewide campaign that tapped into the inspiring stories of individuals, employers, and families who benefitted from the state’s previously passed affordable bond, and demonstrate the overwhelming need to invest in more housing. The campaign included:

  • Providing polling analysis, message development, and overall campaign strategy consulting.
  • Planning and executing a successful press conference to officially launch the ‘Yes On 7’ campaign with 200+ people in attendance, including dozens of key state, business, and community leaders, and earning statewide media coverage in television, radio, print, online, and key minority media outlets.
  • Launching and managing ‘Yes On 7’ social media platforms, attracting nearly 3,000 ‘likes’ and and more than 235,000 post engagements (between organic and paid reach).
  • Designing and managing ads across platforms, with a heavy emphasis on targeted social media ads.
  • Strategic media relations efforts, including press releases and targeted media pitching, which resulted in more than 70 individual favorable earned media placements, including print, radio, television, and online media coverage.
  • Managing a targeted GOTV effort, with dozens of volunteers to help canvass target neighborhoods and educate voters on Question 7, passing out thousands of palm cards and marking down hundreds of committed future ‘yes’ votes.

Result: Question 7 passed with 58% statewide voter approval, including local passage in every urban core district and community prioritized by our campaign.