Friday, March 06, 2009

CityWatchLA - The Little Campaign that Could

How NO on Measure B Prevailed
By Stephen Box

CityWatch, Mar 6, 2009
Vol 7 Issue 19

Dismissed by the opposition as “Fringe Activists” and fighting an uphill battle against a well-financed, well-organized, political machine operating with significant City Hall support, the VoteNoMeasureB campaign came together and used the latest in social media tools to deny Measure B the victory its supporters anticipated. With no money and up against a deadline, the VoteNoMeasureB campaign crafted a plan that used Twitter, Facebook, a Google Calendar, YouTube, email Signature files and a PayPal account, all to get the message out, connect people and drive traffic to a website that hosted the collection of endorsements that simply rolled in.

Up against a barrage of expensive commercials, the VoteNoMeasureB campaign used YouTube videos that were spread virally to deliver the message.

Facing well-paid speakers supported by the DWP’s traveling road show, the VoteNoMeasureB campaign created a Speakers Bureau which hit more than 80 events in the month of February alone, engaging in discussions, dialogues and debates.

Standing up to a measure driven by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti, the VoteNoMeasureB campaign went wide and picked up endorsements from the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. Complementing this was the Union support of 15 of the 17 trades working in Los Angeles. Endorsements also came from Chambers of Commerce and 39 Neighborhood Councils issued resolutions opposing Measure B.

All of this with no money and little time!

In hindsight, that may have been a blessing. The seeds of desperation blossomed into innovation that harnessed together the many talents of the ragtag group of community activists who were willing to take a stand.

A newspaperman, a businessman and a bike activist walk into a campaign…

What should be the setup for a bad joke turned out to be the David vs. Goliath story with a punch line that rocked City Hall and demonstrated clearly that the will of the people can’t be ignored.

This simple campaign demonstrated the power to be found when the many skills of people from throughout LA are brought together and armed with a message and a mechanism for communicating that message.

Everyone has a network of influence and everyone has a passion. When those two potent elements are combined and brought with others together under one umbrella, it creates an unstoppable force.

The names of the people involved in the VoteNoMeasureB campaign are many, but if you’re interested in meeting them and getting involved, you’ll find them at Saturday’s Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition meeting followed by the Saving LA Project meeting. (Stephen Box is a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.netThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it )

Meeting info: LANCC 10am-6501 Fountain Avenue-Hollywood, CA 90028/SLAP – 12 noon-same location.

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