While Congress and state legislatures across the country remain paralyzed by partisan disagreement, ballot initiatives provide a path forward for improving the lives of millions of Americans. The Fairness Project bolsters state- and city-based ballot initiative campaigns and drives a national narrative to elevate issues of economic fairness. By harnessing the power of successful ballot initiative campaigns, The Fairness Project offers voters the opportunity to do what politicians cannot or will not: take direct action to enact sound economic policy and change their own lives.
In 2017, The Fairness Project was a key player in a successful ballot campaign in Maine to expand Medicaid, bringing health care to more than 70,000 people.
And in 2016, a historically polarizing election year, The Fairness Project partnered with grassroots organizations in six states on ballot initiatives raise the minimum wage, two of which also guaranteed paid sick and safe leave. The organization’s local partnerships with campaigns in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Washington state and Washington D.C. ultimately led to higher pay for 8 million working Americans and paid sick days for nearly 2 million. To date, this has put more than $7 billion dollars in working families’ pockets.
In the 2018 election cycle, The Fairness Project is working with state based groups on ballot measures to raise the minimum wage in Missouri and Arkansas; provide paid sick leave in Michigan; and expand Medicaid in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah. And we’ve already helped deliver victories in Massachusetts to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and in San Antonio where the city council passed earned paid sick time – both in response to ballot initiatives.
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Developing data models that enabled campaigns to reach and mobilize voters who would be most impacted by and most likely to vote for the initiatives, especially women and people of color.
Providing critical ongoing services throughout the campaigns, such as overall strategy, research, data analytics, and digital support in direct partnership with the state-based campaigns.
Conducting opinion research in partnership with the states to develop winnable ballot language and clear messaging to help drive campaigns
Generating media coverage that gave greater viability to the campaigns; elevating the issues to make sure they were in the public discourse leading up to election day;and encouraging candidates for office to take a position on the initiative.
Sharing best practices on what worked across the country.
Counseling campaigns facing difficult challenges during various phases of the campaigns.
Deploying staff to states to provide on-the-ground support.
Building support from business leaders to negate opposition by showing that higher wages are good for business.
Investing early through partnerships with state-based, grassroots organizations.