To maintain its position as the leading healthcare educator in the county, Lakeland Community College [LCC] asked voters to support a bond issue to expand and renovate its Health Technologies Building.
Recognizing the challenge of a tax increase in the current anti-tax environment we focused the campaign on the strong community attachment that exists between the college and residents, with 97% of Lakeland graduates living or working in the area and an over 88% approval rating by voters.
Professional groups, employers in the healthcare field, local schools and the building trades helped educate voters on the community-wide benefits with a strong emphasis on job creation. We developed a strong grassroots effort in each of the major Lake County communities with community specific messaging. We utilized mail, telephone calls and social media efforts to reach voters in each community and developed cable television and spots to focus on LCC’s history of educating generations of families in Lake County.
Understanding that voter support of tax levies varies widely by community, we targeted supportive communities with unique direct mailings and geocoded online advertising to make Issue 6 stand out in crowded field of local tax issues on the ballot. Individual supporters were identified through an aggressive voter registration drive on campus, followed by a multi-pronged voter id program using an online survey, phone-banks and canvassing door to door and finishing with an early vote push and GOTV efforts.
Voters heard and responded to the positive messaging and supported the issue enabling the College to move forward with its $40 million renovation and expansion plan.