American Beverage Association – We Deliver in Chicago
Promoting industry contributions with employee engagement and coalition activities
Resolute has worked with the American Beverage Association (ABA) on various initiatives beginning in 2009. While the beverage industry has operated in Illinois for more than 100 years, it continues to face significant threats, including unfavorable tax and regulation proposals at the state and local levels and a campaign of misinformation – particularly in minority communities – about the industry’s role in fostering unhealthy eating and drinking habits.
In 2012, following legislative proposals in several US cities to implement a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) and impose size limits on SSBs, Resolute was engaged to launch and manage the industry’s We Deliver in Chicago (WDC) coalition. Resolute developed and continues to manage WDC to proactively promote the industry’s positive economic and public health contributions in Illinois, help protect it against legislative and regulatory threats, and raise public awareness of the industry’s anti-obesity efforts and initiatives.
Starting with just twelve statewide organizations, Resolute built a coalition of more than 1,000 community groups, small businesses, restaurant franchise owners, labor unions, chambers of commerce, and more than 350 member company employees to serve as advocates of the industry and demonstrate presence in every single Chicago Ward and Cook County District, among them:
- Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Black McDonald’s Operators Association
- Lawndale Christian Development Corporation
- West Side Health Authority
- Pilsen Neighbors Community Council
- Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
- Far South Community Development Corporation
- Developing Communities Project
- Pan American Chamber of Commerce
In addition to recruiting member organizations, WDC held more than 2,400 briefings with key stakeholders and decision makers in the City of Chicago and Cook County over a three-year period to raise awareness about the coalition and campaign. Coalition members activated and participated in 330 meetings with legislators and staff to advocate against and 160 letters and emails were sent by coalition members to key legislators to voice their opposition to legislation and policy that would negatively impact the industry.
In January 2015, Resolute was selected by the Illinois Beverage Association to manage all communications, outreach and organizing, communications and administrative functions of the statewide association. In this role, Resolute staff serves as registered lobbyists, manages contract lobbyists and coordinates with the member companies’ internal government relations staff.