Case Studies

Some examples of grassroots volunteer projects:

FREE AIRTIME: Our Democracy, Our Airwaves

Nationwide grassroots campaign to educate the public about who owns the airwaves. Campaign goal was to change the way the broadcasting industry covers political campaigns.  Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the United States.

Problem: Educate public about campaign finance as it relates to advertising.

Position: Director of Free Airtime Campaign for Massachusetts, for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts

Project: Manage campaign education effort by building MA coalition of activists, PR, forums

Event: Free Airtime Public Forum: Oct. 5, 2002 at the Minuteman Technical School, Lexington, MA, Attendance: 350 (Direct mail distribution: 10,000), Panelist: Paul Taylor, Alliance for Better Campaigns, Lois Pines, Candidate for Lt. Governor-MA, Professor Thomas Patterson, Bradley Professor at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, Joshua Galper, Press Secretary and Communications Director, Reich for Governor Campaign, Morgan Munro, student activist, Wellesley College

Results: Massachusetts ranked second in the nation for the number of signatures collected on the Free Airtime Declaration. Forum drew 350 attendees (highest US attendance), direct mail to 10K; coalition: 26 active Local Leagues and Common Cause; over 150 activist kits distributed; PR: Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, and appearance by Paul Taylor on Emily Rooney's television program: Greater Boston.


Problem: Funding for Open Space, Recreation, Historic Preservation and Community Housing

Election: Local Ballot Question on CPA funding for Open Space, Recreation, Historic Preservation and Community Housing: November 5, 2002

Position: Chairman, CPA for Wellesley (Volunteer)

Campaign: to pass the Community Preservation Act in Wellesley. The CPA provides a dedicated fund for open space, recreation, historic preservation, and community housing. CP Fund is funded by 1 percent surcharge on property tax bill and matched funds from a dedicated CP Fund (generated by higher fees at the registry of deeds). In 2002, due to number of home refinances, CP Fund was over $60 million. First communities adopting the CPC received a higher percentage of the fund (matched at 100 percent for 2 years).

Project: To manager campaign logistics, volunteers, PR, direct mail, promotional events, fundraising

Results: Campaign Vote: Passed by 69 percent of the vote, the highest plurality at the time. From 2002 through 2010, Wellesley has received $9.9 million from this fund for its dedicated purposes.  



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