Two suburban housing developers were in the process of building and approving subdivisions with over 1800 single family and duplex homes in rural DeKalb County. Work had been progressing well when a small, but very vocal community group began to organize and oppose all development. After the Village elected a new mayor with a no-growth platform, the developers teamed together and jointly hired ASA to reverse the tide.
- The ‘no growth’ community organization had considerable support from nearby municipalities, had succeeded in replacing the village mayor through a smear campaign. It was bolstered by a successful county-wide ‘no-growth’ political campaign.
- Sitting Village Trustees had been bullied by the ‘no-growth’ faction. They were intimidated and personally threatened. Law enforcement was called in, but they were loyal to (and related to) the new mayor.
- Editorial opinion of local newspaper was anti-growth
Identified allies, helped them to organize themselves into a campaign, and created enough political cover for them to come forward and reach out to others.
- Developed messages and campaign materials for trustee and mayoral candidates supportive of community improvements and growth
- Provided spokesperson training for candidates and trustees supportive of growth to help them better articulate their position to community
- Provided PR and communication support to the business association, trustees, candidates and community organization to help them explain their growth position
- Designed and conducted a resident opinion survey in collaboration with the business association and produced a report
- Growth candidates won election
- Generated more balanced reporting from local newspaper
- Each developer won approval for preliminary plats and annexation agreements