Getting a development project approved in California can be an arduous, difficult process. In making their case before the planning board or city council, builders must respond to misstatements, half-truths and downright fabrications--often at the last minute. For our client, Alameda Marina Development Partners, we wanted to evolve an exercise dominated by confusion and misinformation into a fact-based, transparent process. To achieve this, Vox Populi transformed an under-utilized and often un-read document, The Master Plan, into a centerpiece for communicating the project benefits. Vox Populi worked with our partner, Advocacy.marketing
, to grow a coalition using social media and email marketing. We recorded a series of testimonials by local project supporters who cited facts about the project from the master planning document and used them in boosted posts, and an effective direct email campaign, that resulted in hundreds of support emails to local decision makers.
Vox Populi also formed a community advisory board made up of a cross-section of stakeholders with varied interests. The Alameda Marina CAB worked with the developer to address concerns and resolve issues. Over a two year period, we helped reach compromises, erase misconceptions and mistruths about the project, and spotlight how the plan would transform an otherwise shuttered property into a publicly accessible waterfront showcase. The result was 30+ speakers at each approval hearing. Those supporters drove two unanimous votes for approval at the planning board and two unanimous votes at the city council.
Today, site preparation is underway at the 44-acre property to create a new sea wall along the shoreline, housing, a waterfront park, Bay Trail connection, a working marina, and commercial space beginning in 2022. Becca continues to serve as strategic advisor to Alameda Marina Development Partners.