For the second time in less than a year, Phoenix faced-off against the highly orchestrated, national effort to kill light rail projects throughout the country. And won.
On Tuesday, Phoenix voters soundly defeated a contentious ballot effort to put the brakes on any light rail project in Phoenix thanks to Invest in PHX, a high-stakes public affairs campaign. The Invest in PHX campaign demonstrated that these well-funded, well-organized transit-killing efforts can be stopped.
“We ran a disciplined, research-based campaign that deployed advanced predictive modeling, tested field strategies and personalized mail messaging,” said Resolute Vice President Tony Cani, who managed the Invest in Phoenix campaign. “But more than that, we built a diverse coalition of interests all fighting for the future of Phoenix.” Cani oversaw coalition building, campaign strategy and messaging, supervising all consultants and driving the campaign to success.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was a driving force in the fight against Propositions 105 and 106 and made their defeat a priority shortly after taking office. “Phoenix has a powerful vision for its future, and that future depends on light rail. In cities throughout the country, growth and revitalization is led by investment in public transportation including light rail. Light rail will connect our residents to jobs, our students to education and the people who call Phoenix home to each other,” said Phoenix Mayor Gallego.
“Tony and Resolute built a team that crossed partisan lines…a broad coalition of support that few could bring together and manage. With a tight timeline he managed a budget of more than a million dollars and executed a campaign that challenged conventional wisdom and won,” added Mayor Gallego.
The Invest in PHX campaign coalition transcended partisan politics and brought together business leaders and labor; neighborhood groups and elected officials; non-profit organizations and industry leaders; and community groups from the four corners of the city who rallied voters to defeat two controversial propositions on the ballot Tuesday, August 27: Proposition 105 (Stop Light Rail) and Proposition 106 (Drastically Cut City Services).
“Our national team of advocacy experts has deep understanding and experience mobilizing public and private sectors around an issue that is critical to their future,” said Resolute Founder and CEO Greg Goldner. “Industry leaders are realizing that while their expertise can build a light rail system, defeating these aggressive opponents to public transportation requires specialized public affairs experience.”
The pro light rail efforts also drew vigorous support from other Arizona and Phoenix elected officials including U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton (D-9th), a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and former Phoenix Mayor; U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-7th); and Phoenix City Council members Debra Stark and Laura Pastor who served as Invest in PHX Co-Chairs.
Congressman Stantontweeted: “A great night for Phoenix and our region. Congrats @MayorGallego and the entire @No105No106 team. The people of Phoenix have spoken (again): transportation infrastructure investments make our city stronger.”
After Tuesday night’s victory, Mayor Gallego tweeted: “The broad coalition that came together to defeat these props deserve our thanks. Today we can celebrate our investment, our city, & our residents. We will have to step up to protect PHX again in the future but we should be encouraged that, together, we continue to move forward.”
Both ballot propositions were designed to undermine progress in Phoenix including halting construction on the $1 billion light rail project in South Phoenix and slashing funding for essential services like libraries, parks, and educational programming. Prop 106 would also scrap the current pension payment plan.
Just last October, Phoenix City Council approved 6-2 to move forward on the $1 billion South Central Light Rail Extension in South Phoenix, after a challenge from out-of-state light rail opponents. Since 2000, voters have consistently approved the city’s $31.5 billion transportation plan to create access to Phoenix residents across a 26-mile system. Tuesday’s vote was the fourth time Phoenix voters supported light rail.
The Obama Foundation just moved closer to building the new Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park – thanks to U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey who dismissed a lawsuit against the center.
Resolute was proud to be part of an inspired team who worked with the Foundation to secure this transformational landmark Presidential Center for Chicago.
The Obama Presidential Center promises to be a cultural, educational, artistic and recreational beacon on the South Side and an economic engine for the community and Chicago. The world-class project will include a towering museum, a two-story public meeting space, a branch of the Chicago Public Library and a Program and Athletic Center.
The $500 million project will create thousands of jobs in construction, on-site at the center and for community businesses.
ann cuniff2019-08-29T21:15:57+00:00June 13th, 2019|
Dave Smolensky, Resolute’s Chief Operating Officer, recently completed Harvard University’s Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age – a premier certification program.
Smolensky is a leading crisis communications expert and trusted advisor who has led crisis communications planning for complex, high-visibility issues and events. “I pursued this Harvard cybersecurity certification to strengthen my expertise in one of the most urgent issues facing business today,” said Smolensky.
The in-depth, expert-led educational training allowed Smolensky to:
– Interact with a cyber experts from corporate, government and education organizations around the globe
– Gain a comprehensive understanding of how to identify and manage operational risk, litigation and reputational risk
– Focus on assessing and mitigating specific vulnerabilities within an organization’s network, systems and data to protect the integrity, security and confidentiality of an organization’ s asset
Smolensky is part of the team leading Resolute’s CyberSecurity Strategy practice, where uniquely qualified public affairs and crisis communications experts are teamed with world-renowned cybersecurity authorities. Together they guide an organization’s leadership through the complex decision making required to plan for and manage through a cyberincident.
ann cuniff2019-08-29T21:17:23+00:00June 10th, 2019|
The Publicity Club of Chicago recognized Resolute with seven awards at the 60th Annual Golden Trumpet Awards. The awards recognize work completed on behalf of clients in a variety of disciplines, including public affairs, media relations, special events, branding and marketing.
“Golden Trumpets are one of the most coveted awards in the communications industry,” said Dave Smolensky, chief operating officer. “These awards represent the incredible level of work the entire Resolute team is executing on a daily basis and demonstrates the highest level of strategic thinking and creativity our clients have come to expect.”
ann cuniff2019-08-29T21:18:11+00:00June 7th, 2019|
National political strategist Tony Cani has joined Resolute Consulting as a Vice President. An experienced political consultant and campaign manager, Tony has held leadership roles in both government and with public advocacy organizations.
“We are proud to have Tony’s strategic thinking and deep political experience as a force on the Resolute team,” said Greg Goldner, CEO of Resolute. “Tony will strengthen our presence in Arizona and across the country.”
Most recently, Tony served as campaign manager for Kate Gallego, who was elected in March 2019 as Mayor of Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city. In a highly competitive race, Tony successfully navigated more than a million dollars in attack ads against his candidate securing a 17 percent victory.
Prior to the Gallego campaign, Tony served as Political and Advocacy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona where he built from scratch a new department responsible for non-partisan public policy and advocacy engagement at the municipal, county, and state levels. From 2010 until 2012 he worked as national political director for the Sierra Club in Washington, D.C., the nation’s most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization.
His government experience includes serving as the Senior Policy Advisor to former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton where he managed the policy team and oversaw high-priority projects including those related to inter-governmental cooperation, transportation infrastructure, land use, water and sustainability. He also served in a similar role in the office of the Mayor for the City of Tempe. His early political experience includes being an early innovator in digital organizing for the Arizona Democratic Party and managing campaign operations as the National Political Director for Young Democrats of America.
Tony is a graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Political Science. He is a fellow of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy and a Security Fellow of the Truman National Security Project.
Resolute Consulting Senior Advisor Ron Moultrie has been recognized by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer with the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award.
Ron, a former senior national security official who retired as the Director of Operations of the National Security Agency (NSA), was recognized for his role in a cybersecurity readiness review for the Secretary of the Navy. The review examined cybersecurity at the governance layer and identified five critical pillars key to cybersecurity readiness: culture, people, structure, processes and resources.
“To be recognized by Secretary Spencer with the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award is a tremendous honor,” said Ron Moultrie, Senior Advisor of Resolute Consulting. “Having the opportunity to play an integral role in enhancing the U.S. Navy’s, and by extension the Defense Department’s, cybersecurity posture and future strategy was extremely rewarding.”
“This distinguished honor underscores the high level of integrity and expertise Ron brings to every engagement – whether it is for the U.S. Navy or one of Resolute’s clients,” said Greg Goldner, President and CEO of Resolute Consulting. “Ron continues to be sought after for his extraordinary knowledge of cybersecurity intelligence and his unique ability to translate that into actionable cybersecurity readiness planning. We are so proud that Ron was recognized with this award and honored to have him as a senior advisor to our firm.”
At Resolute, Ron is part of the firm’s cybersecurity practice and plays a key role on a team of trusted advisors who have worked on the most challenging international and domestic high-stakes security assignments in the world
The Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award is the highest honor the Secretary can confer upon a civilian employee. It is granted only to those who have given distinguished or extraordinary service to the Department of the Navy and is reserved for contributions that are so unusual or significant that recognition at the Secretary of the Navy level is deserved.
ann cuniff2019-08-29T21:22:56+00:00April 4th, 2019|
A hiring celebration at CRRC’s $100 million state-of-the-art railcar manufacturing facility on Chicago’s Far Southeast Side recognized the hiring of the first employees who will assemble the CTA’s new 7000-series railcars. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., CRRC Sifang America and the Chicago Federation of Labor attended the event at the new 45-acre facility where CRRC will create approximately 170 manufacturing, warehouse and professional jobs.
One of the featured speakers was Perry Nobles, who was among the 25 new union workers hired to date. The first group of production workers will travel to in China early March for highly specialized training in assembling the new railcars.
“This is a big story: the next generation of CTA railcars will be built right here in Chicago by Chicago workers,” said Dave Smolensky, partner, Resolute Consulting. Since it was awarded the CTA contract in 2016, Resolute has helped CRRC strengthen its connection to the local community, highlight its commitment to Chicago and local hiring. Resolute produced this special hiring event and the facility groundbreaking event.
“The creation of this state-of-the-art railcar facility is not only an investment in the CTA, but a vote of confidence in Chicago’s economy and our workforce Mayor Emanuel said. “Our goal of having a world-class transportation system is one step closer with this critical investment on the far Southeast side.
“We are excited to have hired the initial group of union production workers who will assemble the next generation of railcars for the Chicago Transit Authority,” CRRC Sifang America’s President Chengyong Liu said. As we complete the new Chicago facility, our newly hired workers will be training in preparation to build the first 10 prototypes of then new 7000-series rail cars to be delivered later this year.”
The new facility will assemble the CTA’s base order of 400 railcars for a total of $632 million or $1.58 million per car, with future options for an additional 446 railcars. These 7000-series vehicles are the first railcars purchased by CTA in more than a decade since 2006. The first rail car prototypes are expected to be completed in 2019. This critical investment brings railcar manufacturing back to Chicago after a 50-year absence and continues to grow the Far Southeast Side’s booming manufacturing sector.
ann cuniff2019-08-29T21:23:58+00:00March 7th, 2019|
When Politico wrote an analysis of Presidential Candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s decision to block big donors from having access to her presidential campaign, they reached out to a number of national political fund-raising experts including Resolute’s Ami Copeland.
Copeland, the former deputy finance director to President Barack Obama spoke to Politico reporter Natasha Korecki about when Obama announced his own restrictions during his 2008 run.
“It was the first time anyone had done that before. Everyone freaked out about it. There was a lot of uncertainty around how that would play out,” said Ami Copeland, a former deputy finance director to Obama. “It was much more of a potent issue to utilize on the trail as opposed to hurting us.”
Copeland drew parallels and contrasts between Obama’s and Warren’s fund-raising tactics to reach small and high-dollar donors.
“Operationally it’s going to be a really big challenge for them. It’s hard to put together a budget based on an unknown intake,” Copeland said. “It’s not just her losing a class of donors, she’s also pushing them to other operations and other campaigns. That in the long-term will be an issue.”
Ron Moultrie, senior advisor to Resolute CyberSecurity Strategies, was recently tapped by U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to oversee a review of the U.S. Navy’s cyber security. Ron is a former National Security Agency (NSA) Director of Operations and a member of CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service (SIS).
Ron is a member of Resolute’s CyberSecurity Advisory Team that provides CEOs and Boards with exceptional access to the most respected counsel on mission-critical cyber security issues and communications strategies.
Build South Central Campaign defeats light rail opposition
After months of high-stakes debate and disruption, Phoenix will build the $1 billion South Central Light Rail extension following the City Council’s 6-2 vote approving the project to move forward as planned.
This crucial win for light rail advocates was the result of a hard-fought public affairs campaign managed by Resolute Consulting. In just five weeks, Resolute launched the Build South Central Campaign. Our team partnered with the South Phoenix community, reenergized light rail supporters and waged an aggressive media relations effort to secure the council’s approval.
The 5.5 mile South Central line is the next stop in Phoenix’s $31.5 billion transportation plan and creates exceptional access for South Phoenix residents to the 26-mile light rail system. Phoenix voters approved the extension in 2015.