What worked in Oakland
Each community has unique circumstances that dictate how it will frame and design its campaign. Here are some lessons learned from health advocates in Oakland:
- It was vital to build a strong and diverse coalition with leadership that the community knows and trusts. A core group of health advocates, faith leaders, elected officials and leaders representing diverse communities joined by spring 2016.
- Political expertise and organizers: Having a political consultant with experience in Berkeley’s sugary drink tax campaign was a huge asset in strategizing and running the campaign. It was also critical to have paid, trained organizers.
- Oakland residents were exposed to health messages about sugary drinks through educational programs in schools, faith-based organizations, and public health department programs (Rethink Your Drink).
- Early signed endorsements from health leaders, elected officials and leaders of color are critical. Endorsements included: Asian Health Services, 100 Black Men, and the president of Oakland’s NAACP chapter.
- Utilized community relationships and trusted people to spread the word, one-on-one.
- Focused messages on health, Big Soda marketing to people of color, and what funding can do.
- Established the Community Advisory Board to guarantee a community voice in funding allocation process to address concerns about how the money would be spent.
- Media – used earned media, social media, and media consultants to help create ongoing buzz.
- Fundraising early was important.
- Took advantage of online tools to organize volunteers early on. Activated them when enthusiastic.
- Important to get messages out through local channels before Big Soda came to town.
- Business outreach was important early on, before Big Soda reached them.