Project Description

Regional Transportation Authority

Activating 17,000 stakeholders in support of mass transit in northeastern Illinois

Project: Leading into Illinois’ 2007 legislative session, the issue of mass transit was not on the legislative agenda of leaders in Springfield. Although transit operating funding had not been reviewed for nearly 25 years, many opinion leaders were very pessimistic that transit would even be on Springfield’s radar screen. If the northeastern regional transportation system did not receive new funding, transit riders would face fare hikes and service cuts – both major setbacks to the region’s system.

Strategy: Resolute was engaged by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to identify, engage, educate and activate stakeholders and riders to secure a statewide dedicated funding source for the region’s mass transit system.

The objective of the Moving Beyond Congestion (MBC) campaign was to create the best possible environment for consideration of mass transit operating funding and reform legislation and to place the issue at the center of the 2007 Illinois General Assembly legislative session.

Resolute’s campaign strategy focused on three key areas: legislative outreach, strategic communications and public involvement. The team employed tried-and-true methods of delivering messages and calls to action, as well as online communications and other technologies to ensure up-to-the minute opportunities to inform, engage and activate.

Resolute successfully built a broad-based coalition of more than 17,000 individuals and 700 organizations representing a million plus residents and business owners of the six-county area, all of whom advocated on behalf of mass transit funding.

Outcome: The campaign secured more than 1,000 formal letters and resolutions of support from regional policy organizations, and more than 50,000 emails, letters and faxes were sent by individual transit supporters to elected officials.

The efforts were rewarded when the Illinois General Assembly approved House Bill 65 and it was signed into law in January, 2008. The new law resulted in an annual increase of more than $500 million in dedicated funding for mass transit in northeastern Illinois.