Local Land-Use Decisions: Green Energy Partners

A local developer in Loudoun County, Virginia, the wealthiest and fastest growing county in the country, sought to gain local legislative approvals for a 778-megawatt natural gas power plant. Previous applications from other developers for a similar power plant were denied by the local governing bodies. Because of these past failed efforts, many local political watchers thought the application from Green Energy Partners was doomed.

Our team was responsible for a robust and focused grassroots, lobbying, public relations, messaging and social media effort. We focused our message, earned media, and directed email and online campaigns to identify and court local grasstops supporters as well as local, regional and national grassroots supporters. The almost two-year legislative review process included multiple public hearings, a constant stream of regular meetings with stakeholders, elected officials and bureaucrats, an inquisitive press and numerous community meetings. Through this comprehensive media, messaging, grassroots and lobbying campaign, Green Energy Partners’ proposal was unanimously approved 9-0 by the Board of Supervisors and heralded by county leaders as an economic development boon which would benefit the county for decades to come.

Grassroots Execution: American Energy Association/ExxonMobil/National Taxpayers Union

For four years Jackson-West has partnered with the American Energy Association, Exxon Mobil and the National Taxpayers Union to enact a comprehensive energy tax education and advocacy effort. To have an honest and informed debate on the future of energy tax policy, it is crucial to accurately frame the oil and gas sector’s role in the U.S. economy and assess the impact of proposed tax policy changes. 
Jackson-West engaged local, regional and state chambers of commerce, academic and policy experts, state associations, major energy consumers and state legislators from both sides of the political aisle, plus hundreds of grasstops statewide in a coordinated effort to enlighten and influence federal elected officials and Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz.  Through third party voices we made clear to our targets matters including the significant role of the energy sector in the overall economy, the difference between a tax deduction and a subsidy, economic repercussions of increased taxes on the energy sector and the economic benefits of increased liquid natural gas exports as pertaining to America’s national and global security.

Grassroots Cultivation and Growth: Oasis Brands

One of the world's main producers of consumer paper products was up against a series of well-funded and well-coordinated attacks.  These consistent attacks had the potential to have very serious and negative effects against not only paper company's bottom line, but would also threaten its very existence in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Immediately, Jackson-West (J-W) lead a series of counter efforts engaging, educating, and mobilizing a groundswell of support that included local, state, and federal elected officials including members of the local Town Council, State House of Delegates, State Senate, and Congress all of whom represented the districts of the targeted paper manufacturing facility. In addition, Jackson West reached out to the local business community, including the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as the local media, where we successfully placed a positive article in the area’s lone regional newspaper.  

Through our efforts, we were able to secure not only grasstop support from local, state, and federal elected officials and business leaders, successfully repudiating these negative attacks, but in addition, productively spread our client’s positive history as an environmental steward throughout the region reinforcing their reputation as a leading manufacturer in the state.

Raising the Wage at National and Dulles Airports

When the Service Employees International Union’s Local 32BJ brought its Poverty Doesn’t Fly campaign to Virginia’s airports, they called Jackson-West.

Against the backdrop of Virginia being a Right-to-Work state and with majorities in the Virginia Legislature resistant to the idea of raising the minimum wage, SEIU partnered with Jackson-West to implement a high-level political and policy campaign directly targeting airport vendors and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

The Authority is a federal compact with members governing the airports appointed by the President, Maryland and Virginia Governors and the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Jackson-West used its existing network of relationships to help SEIU build trust and a rapport with the Authority’s Board and Staff. And because sometimes you have to change the makeup of the Board you’re working with to ensure your desired outcome, JW lobbied state and local officials to be mindful of the workers at the airports as officials made appointments to the Authority’s governing Board.

Through a combination of direct lobbying, grassroots pressure, one-day strikes, earned media and political pressure, the workers won an incremental increase from, in some cases, $7.25, to $12.50 an hour by 2020. After the staggered increases, the wages will be tied to inflation moving forward.

The raises fundamentally changed the lives of about 4,000 workers, many of whom have joined SEIU’s growing Union.




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