Strengthening Tigard’s Industrial Core

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Overview

The City of Tigard identified its Hunziker Industrial Core as a unique and exciting opportunity to redevelop 138 acres of industrial land in an urban setting to help foster economic growth and provide long-term, high-skill, high-wage job opportunities for the region. CFM worked with Tigard, local stakeholders and the Oregon congressional delegation to secure millions of dollars in grant funding to help execute Tigard’s vision.

Challenge

While the benefits of the project are clear and compelling, necessary infrastructure improvements were cost-prohibitive for Tigard. The total cost of public infrastructure (roads, water, waste water and storm water) necessary to support private development in the Hunziker Industrial Core was estimated at more than $8 million. Even after CFM’s state lobby team secured $1.5 million in funding from the State of Oregon, there was a large funding gap to fill to bring this project to fruition.

Approach

With extensive knowledge of federal funding streams, CFM identified the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Public Works grant program as the best fit for the City to pursue. CFM organized project tours and meetings with EDA officials in Oregon and Washington, DC to discuss how well the project aligns with EDA’s funding priorities and worked with City staff to draft and edit grant applications for EDA’s two-phase application process.

CFM prepared lobbying materials, organized meetings in Oregon and DC and secured enthusiastic support from the Oregon congressional delegation. In the following months, however, Tigard would be repeatedly informed by EDA that the Hunziker project was being held up by a variety of bureaucratic red tape.

With experience maneuvering the intricate processes of federal agencies, CFM began organizing conference calls with EDA officials and coordinated outreach with the congressional delegation to help move the project over bureaucratic stumbling blocks.

Result

Working with the Oregon delegation and City staff, CFM helped secure $2,100,000 in EDA grant funding for infrastructure improvements in the Hunziker Core, one of the largest grants awarded in the region. With funding in hand, Tigard’s Hunziker Industrial Core public infrastructure project is underway. When complete, the project will improve access to 138 acres of underdeveloped industrial property attracting an estimated $36 million in private investment that will create between 150 and 300 high-skill, high-wage jobs.

Oregon Public Records Laws Strengthened

Overview

Oregon’s public records laws, enacted in 1978, were intended to allow members of the public and the press access to the inner workings of their government. The goal was increased transparency and accountability as the public had a right to information relating to government operations. Over the years, hundreds of public record exemptions have been added and the process has become convoluted, with agencies sometimes charging exorbitant fees for records, and individuals abusing the process by swamping agencies with requests.

Challenge

The Oregon Association of Broadcasters (OAB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), longtime CFM clients, have a vested interest in ensuring adequate government transparency. They, and other stakeholders were frustrated with the way the public records process sometimes functioned. Entities seeking an open and transparent process often felt stonewalled by agency responses and timelines, which could make it difficult to report the news accurately and in a timely manner.

Approach

The OAB’s Keith Shipman participated in a task force convened by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum aimed at reforming the public records process. Out of that effort came three pieces of legislation: SB 106, which created a public records advocate to mediate disputes; SB 481, which established timelines for both requestors and responders to follow; and HB 2101, which created a legislative subcommittee tasking with examining both existing and new public records exemptions.

CFM took it from there, helping to shepherd the bills through the legislative process. We educated legislators, addressed stakeholder concerns and helped draft amendments to the three bills that ensured true, meaningful reform to the public records process.

Result

In a difficult budget and political environment, CFM was able to convince legislators that this was a worthwhile investment, and all three bills (at a total price tag of greater than $1 million), passed the legislature before Sine Die.

 

Cities Gain Authority on Approving Land-Use Changes

Overview

Comprehensive plans are created by local jurisdictions, through extensive public process, to set city or county transportation, utility, recreation, land-use and housing goals. Comprehensive plans traditionally have two components; maps and text. The map shows the area and intentions geographically, while the text provides overarching themes and goals for the area.

Challenge

Comprehensive plans are typically created and maintained by the governing body. However, for decades, counties and cities in Oregon believed they had the right to delegate minor comprehensive plan map changes to their planning commissions or hearings officers. In 2015, in a ruling in Housing Land Advocates v. City of Happy Valley, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) said counties have express authority to delegate decisions, but cities didn’t. A statutory change would be needed to give that authority to cities.

Salem and Happy Valley were two cities most severely impacted by the LUBA ruling. Both cities preferred to allow minor changes to the comprehensive plan map to be decided by the city’s planning commission, with authority from the council.

Approach

CFM helped Salem achieve a statutory fix in the 2017 legislative session. Prior to and at the beginning of the session, legislators in the Salem and Happy Valley areas, as well as legislators with a background in land-use, were educated on the issue and asked to sponsor legislation. House Bill 3245 attracted bicameral, bi-partisan support by the time of its introduction.

Stakeholders were identified early and consulted with frequently. The League of Oregon Cities and the Homebuilders Association were supportive of the bills and submitted testimony in support of HB 3245. Originally, land use and environmental advocates had concerns, but CFM worked with the advocates to find common ground and spent several weeks negotiating a solution all parties could accept.

Result

The compromise permitted cities to delegate decisions on comprehensive plan maps in a more limited capacity than counties currently can. The Senate passed the final version of the bill unanimously and the House strongly approved it on a concurrence vote. The Governor signed the bill June 22, 2017 and it will go into effect January 1, 2018.

Major Transportation Funding Package Passes

Overview 

Oregon lawmakers began the 2017 legislative session with the objective of finding bipartisan agreement on a historic transportation package to address Oregon’s aging infrastructure, reduce congestion and improve transit services in the state. A 14-member bipartisan and bicameral committee was formed and met throughout 2016 and 2017 to develop comprehensive legislation, the largest ever contemplated in Oregon and the first transportation funding package since 2009.

Challenge

Any successful package needed to address concerns from myriad stakeholders, including environmental advocates, truckers, AAA and low-income and vulnerable population advocates. In addition, CFM’s client, Salem-Keizer Transit, and other transit stakeholders were concerned that transit investments, and the method for paying for them, would be seen as too controversial and left on the cutting room floor. How do you develop a package robust enough to provide transportation investments throughout the state, including Oregon’s first stable funding source for transit, while also keeping costs low enough to not anger fiscal hawks and stakeholders concerned with rising gas taxes?

Approach

Working with transit advocates and our client, CFM helped execute a comprehensive messaging and advocacy strategy that ensure transit was a key component of any package and focused on stamping down opposition based on fears of regressivity and equity. That included regular attendance at public hearings throughout Oregon during 2016 and 2017 where transit voices and riders could communicate their needs to leaders. It also included a strong legislative presence where those benefiting from future enhanced transit services resulting from the package could educate lawmakers on the dire need around Oregon. Utilizing those existing and powerful voices in a strategic manner, while also keeping up pressure on lawmakers, was an effective method of engagement.

Result

HB 2017 passed with comfortable margins in both chambers and was signed into law 30 days post session. Strategic efforts resulted in transit being one of the least controversial portions of the transportation package due to the benefits investments will bring to low-income and vulnerable populations in the decades to come. This package resulted in transit finally obtaining a dedicated statewide funding source for services – something sought after for years.

Ensuring Buyers Obtain Property Deeds

Overview

Land sale contracts, also known as installment purchase contracts or installment sale agreements, are direct agreements between a buyer and seller, which set the terms for paying off the amount owed on a property over a set amount of time. In land sale contracts, the seller keeps the deed until the buyer pays off the debt of the property. Once a contract is fulfilled and the full financial obligation met, the seller is to transfer the deed of the property to the buyer.

Challenge

CFM’s client, the Oregon Land Title Association, continued to find that every so often in land sale contracts deeds would fail to be transferred after the contract was fulfilled. When this occurs, the only recourse for the buyer to obtain the deed is to sue the seller. The Oregon Land Title Association wanted to help buyers have a different, less expensive option to claim the deed.

Approach

The proposal put forward in HB 2855 was modeled aftr the pre-existing non-judicial process for forfeiture. Forfeiture occurs when the buyer is unable to pay off the seller or the bank. The legislation set up a path for claiming ownership and legally transferring the deed without going through the courts.

The procedure for transferring the deed, established in HB 2855, required contacting the seller, submitting public notice, and recording an affidavit of fulfillment. Since this change in law was technical in nature and addressed an issue most do not encounter, lots of education was required. CFM had numerous meetings, distributed one-pagers, floor letters and presented in-person testimony to ensure legislators understood the proposed procedure.

Result

After educating legislators on this technical issue and ensuring there were no conflicts for other impacted parties and stakeholders, CFM, on behalf of the OLTA, was able to convince the legislature to pass the bill unanimously.

Willamette Water Supply Program: Making sure our taps do not run dry

Willamette Water Supply Program: Making sure our taps do not run dry

Overview

The challenge of building and paying for public infrastructure is a growing problem across the nation. Projects, whether roads, sewers or fresh drinking water systems, are enormously complex. They are expensive, take a decade or more to plan and build and extend over many political cycles. Add to this mixture, environmental permitting and concerns about growth and land use and it is easy to see how proposed large public infrastructure projects can fall off the rails.

Challenge

Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro retained CFM to provide ongoing public affairs counsel to support their Willamette River Water Supply program. The billion-dollar water project will bring Willamette River water into densely populated north Washington County communities in 2026.  CFM was asked to help program leaders anticipate and address public and elected leader concerns before they arose.

Approach

CFM was incorporated into the project planning team from its first day, working in harness with engineers, planners, and public outreach specialists. CFM contributed its knowledge of Washington County communities to the project’s risk register. The firm’s relationships with leaders from across the county allowed it to provide early briefings about the project to elected officials, business leaders and other significant stakeholders.

A scenario-driven crisis communications plan was developed and key project leaders received media training. A public affairs working group, consisting of project leadership and CFM staff, meets on a regular basis to ensure that every challenge is evaluated and addressed well before problems bubble to the surface.

Result

The Willamette Water Supply Program has in place strong working relationships with each of the jurisdictions it will touch. CFM continues to manage what amounts to an early warning system that will allow project leaders to respond quickly and effectively to public concerns as they arise. 

Historic Photo Exhibit helps raise Adoption Agency’s Profile

Photo originally featured on Holt International's Blog

Overview:

On July 27, 1953 the United States and Korea signed an armistice agreement ending the Korean War, and Holt International Children’s Services began its compassionate work to aid vulnerable children and families. To mark this historic milestone and celebrate National Adoption Month, CFM organized Children of Korea: A Sixty-Year Retrospective. This premier exhibit featured historical photos from Holt’s archives and provided a glimpse into the lives of orphaned Korean children.

Challenge:

November is a busy time on the congressional calendar. CFM needed to create an event and ensure maximum attendance from federal lawmakers, agency officials and other stakeholders to raise awareness of Holt’s work.

Approach:

CFM began building momentum by meeting with child welfare champions in the House and Senate, as well as federal agency officials. CFM coordinated many event details, including securing the venue and confirming attendance of distinguished guests. CFM secured the participation of House and Senate leaders, foreign ambassadors and federal agency officials. To ensure the event was marked in congressional history, CFM partnered with the Oregon delegation to obtain statements for the Congressional Record recognizing Holt.

Result:

Nearly 200 attendees packed the Senate Russell Caucus Room to view the historical photos. Honorary hosts included Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, as well as co-hosts Senator Mary Landrieu of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Other notable guests included Ambassador Ho-Young Ahn of the Republic of Korea, and Holt Korea President Kim Dae Yul. Distinguished Members of Congress including Reps. Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Senator Charles Rangel provided remarks recognizing Holt’s work. CFM successfully elevated the organization’s profile and showcased Holt’s rich history in the field of inter-country adoption and child welfare. 


Creating a logo to tell Central City Concern's story

Creating a logo to tell Center City Concern's story

Overview: Central City Concern (CCC) approached CFM to help tell its story to its target audiences, including potential donors. 

Challenge: CCC is a large non-profit organization that provides a wide variety of services for homeless people in the Portland Metro area. The public lacked awareness about the full scope of services CCC provided to the community. The organization’s logo was old and didn't convey any sense of what CCC does. CFM suggested a fresh logo as a way to explain how CCC helps homeless people get back on their feet.  

Approach: CFM began with a series of interactive focus groups to identify words and visual concepts that explain what CCC does. CFM then compiled the results and worked with a graphic designer to develop logo options that included visual explanations of CCC's work. CFM provided ongoing feedback and strategic counsel throughout the logo development process. 

Result: CCC’s new logo clearly demonstrates the organization’s three key service areas: Homes, health and jobs.  The logo visually shows what is unique about how CCC addresses homelessness. According to a blog post by CCC, “We hope you see our commitment to providing: safe and stable housing to people in need, compassionate healthcare and hope for recovery provided by caring professionals, connection to meaningful employment for able clients, and the fostering of positive relationships that help all of our clients attain a higher potential.” The new logo will be used throughout CCC, including on vehicles, signage and printed materials. 

Jobs Stimulus Package

Overview

Oregon Jobs Stimulus Package CFM Strategic Communications

Oregon had failed to enact a highway and bridge funding measure for more than a decade, which meant state roads and overpasses were in a greater state of disrepair.

Challenge

While lawmakers could find bipartisan agreement on a funding package, they had trouble satisfying interest groups, which successfully referred measures to the ballot where they were rejected by voters. Transportation advocates and legislative leaders needed a roadmap to follow for the 2009 session to develop a package that could pass the legislature and avoid a referral to the ballot.

Approach

CFM was retained to conduct an innovative form of database research to gauge citizen attitudes about public spending to stimulate job creation. Using web-based surveys and focus groups, CFM engaged 3,000 residents about what state efforts they preferred to help economic recovery. The research showed solid public support for targeted public spending on roads, bridges, schools and sewer and water systems. The research also showed Oregonians were willing to pay more for a package that was significant and actually created jobs. Feedback helped state leaders and businesses design a legislative package to fund more than $500 million in construction projects for roads, schools, utility grids and local building projects.

Result

Armed with more in-depth research than ever before, legislative leaders and transportation advocates crafted a funding measure that followed the contours of research findings. The legislative package was double-checked with follow-up research that involved asking respondents of the first survey to comment on how well the package met their expectations. The funding package sailed through the legislature, there was no referral and it went in effect just as the recession hit Oregon, providing a job stimulus when it was needed most.

Opening a New Oregon Wine Marketing Channel

Overview

As demand continues to grow for Oregon’s wine, the Oregon wine industry continues to look for innovative ways to provide wine to consumers at an affordable price point and in an environmentally sustainable way. With CFM’s expert guidance, Oregon wineries now can sell their wine at retail outlets from kegs into re-usable glass growlers.

Challenge

Most Oregon wineries produce less that 50,000 cases a year, which is a small yield compared to California and Washington wineries. The growing number of small wineries has made it even more competitive to earn grocery store shelf space and appear on restaurant menus. Oregon law permitted microbreweries to sell their beer at retail outlets from kegs to growlers, but only Allowed wineries to sell wine in growlers through their tasting rooms.

Approach

At the urging of its small winery members, the Oregon Winegrowers Association asked CFM to advocate for legislation to allow wine growlers.

Given the popularity of beer growlers, CFM urged Oregon legislators to let consumers have the same affordable and sustainable access to Oregon wines. CFM lobbyists demonstrated how wine growlers work in legislative hearings and explained how this would give smaller wineries a new marketing channel to reach consumers who couldn’t go to their tasting rooms.

Result

The legislation passed unanimously, making Oregon the first state in the nation to permit wine growlers at retail outlets.

Using Research to Gain Constructive Feedback

Overview

CFM Research School District

A Washington State school district was struggling to get community input about tough budget choices. Using online and traditional research tools, CFM helped the district expand community participation from less than 100 to more than 3,000 residents in less than six weeks.

Challenge

After months of work and analysis by district administrators, citizen committees and consultants, a Washington school district wanted community guidance about two proposed levies and one bond. Each proposal had five options that offered more services and benefits, but at higher costs. Initial engagement efforts consisted of community meetings at local schools. Few people attended the meetings and comments were narrowly focused on a few projects.

Approach

The district approached CFM to conduct a telephone survey to help assess the funding options. CFM partner Tom Eiland recognized the issues were too complex to test over the phone. He suggested taking the questions online where constituents could ponder the implications of the proposals, consider alternatives and provide feedback. Eiland recommended using the district’s parent email list as a first step and follow that with a phone survey. In about a week, Eiland and district leaders developed an online questionnaire. The District used its survey tool to run the survey and, within seven days, nearly 3,000 parents had participated. Results enabled the district to narrow the focus to three financing options, not the original 15.

Result

Using the online data as a guideline, Eiland prepared a questionnaire and conducted phone interviews among a representative sample of 400 residents to assess opinions about two levy and one bond proposal. The phone survey was used to gather information the entire community, including those who no children in schools.

Using a multi-modal research design, CFM helped the school district engage more than 3,000 residents in less than six weeks. The effort allowed the district to obtain constructive feedback about complex issues and provide statistically valid data for its decision-making.

Opening the Keizer Transit Center

Overview

CFM: Opening Salem Keizer Transit Center

After receiving federal and state grants, Salem-Keizer Transit wanted to maximize opportunities at the groundbreaking and grand opening of the new Keizer Transit Center. It retained CFM, which had helped secure federal funding for the center, to ensure both events were well-attended and served as opportunities to talk about the value and benefits of public transportation.

Challenge

The design of the center was a collaborative effort with riders, SKT personnel, local businesses and neighborhood residents. The center is one part of SKT’s new service design using the three Cs – circulators, collectors and centers. SKT wished to celebrate all three elements at Keizer Transit Center events, while making sure it said thank you to everyone who had a hand in the center.

SKT desired the right mix of political, government agency and business leaders to attend. The event needed to be unique and provide opportunity for attendees to connect with local, state and congressional leadership. The event also needed to get the attention of the local media for SKT to share the story of the Keizer Transit Center.

Approach

CFM secured Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Kurt Schrader as keynote speakers for the grand opening. CFM designed an event program that allowed the SKT general manager, board president and other agency leaders to talk about the transit agency’s role and value. CFM identified, invited and coordinated attendance by key local leaders and influencers.

Result

More than 100 local leaders and influencers attended the event and heard about the efficiency of transit and economic development benefits of the Keizer Transit Center. SKT officials thanked those who secured funding and acknowledged people involved in the design and construction of the center.

The events earned wide media attention, which helped the agency share its successes and its story about making Keizer more attractive for residents and businesses and offering more choices to reduce single care occupancy.

Restarting a Stalled Water Project

Overview

Lake Oswego and Tigard: Restarting a Stalled Water Project

Lake Oswego and Tigard formed an innovative partnership to meet their future water needs through an expansion of Lake Oswego’s existing water infrastructure, which included a treatment plant located in West Linn. But the project encountered stiff heads winds and was stalled. CFM urged a pause to allow time for re-engaging the communities most impacted, addressing concerns and modifying the water treatment plan design. It worked.

Challenge

To move forward, the project depended on gaining land use and environmental permits from Gladstone, West Linn and multiple state and federal agencies. Planners and engineers did their work. Community outreach went according to plan. But when the proposed water intake, pipelines and plant came into focus before the West Linn Planning Commission, opponents gained the upper hand.

Approach

CFM partner Norm Eder worked closely with project managers and their legal team to suggest a pause in the land use process to the planning commission to address concerns about the project. The planning commission agreed. For the next four months efforts were made to meet the demands of opponents through a wide variety of approaches, ranging from independent mediation to design modifications and one-one discussions. The fiercest opponents, however, were not satisfied but project leaders were gained by being perceived as reasonable, flexible and willing to meet opponents’ objections more than halfway.

The project partners returned to the planning commission where its land use application was denied. CFM and project leaders then turned their attention to an appeal of the decision to West Linn’s City Council. Assisted by CFM, the partnership developed its appeal and built broad community understanding of the importance of the project for West Linn citizens, focusing on savings and the importance of backup water supply. Opponents doubled down on their grassroots efforts. They launched a mass petition drive, wrote weekly angry commentary in the local paper, posted lawn signs and pressured local merchants and City Council members to oppose the project.

Result

The City Council ultimately voted 4-0 to reverse the decision of its planning commission. The council noted the Partnership had demonstrated good faith in addressing opponent concerns and built a strong case based on West Linn’s needs and code requirements.

But the story did not end there. Opponents took aim at slowing or stopping two necessary ingredients of the project. The Partnership needed an easement to construct a pipeline by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The project also needed a Corps of Engineers permit to improve the fresh water intake on the Clackamas River. CFM helped mobilize project supporters in Salem and Washington, DC to secure the easement and all environmental permits in a timely fashion.

Construction began in July 2013 and, once complete, it will become an important part of the Portland area’s water infrastructure.

CFM Designs Website for New Business to Spell Caregivers

CFM Designs Website for New Business to Spell Caregivers Urban Excursions

Overview

When an entrepreneur with a heart needed help to design and build a website for her new business, she came to CFM. The entrepreneur was starting a business to provide urban excursions for physically and mentally challenged elderly people, which provide a badly needed break for their caregivers, who often are relatives.

Challenge

The entrepreneur needed a website that could go from initial design to launch in one month. She was also building the business from scratch during the web development process and needed a firm that could quickly adapt to find solutions.

Approach

CFM developed the website, including the content and design. When additional e-commerce functionality was needed, CFM worked with a developer to create a website that met the client’s needs. CFM also assisted with developing visual content and training on how to self-administer the website.

Result

The website launched within the client’s deadline and included all the functionality she needed. With the help of CFM, the client was able to focus on recruiting new customers and starting her business.

Preventing Airspace Restrictions on Pearson Field

Preventing Airspace Restrictions on Pearson Field

"Pearson Field 1" by John Kloepper. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Overview

With little notice, Federal Aviation Administration officials proposed restricting airspace at Vancouver’s historic Pearson Field, which could have resulted in significant flight delays and safety issues. Vancouver called in CFM, which rallied congressional support, forced a public airing of the proposal and ultimately led to the restrictions being dropped

Challenge

On September 20, 2012, Vancouver and local pilots were formally notified of a new FAA regulation that would significantly change aircraft access in shared airspace between Vancouver’s Pearson Field and Portland International Airport. The plan was to go into effect in just 10 days after the notice.

The FAA wanted to impose an 8-mile-long, 1-mile-wide and 2,100-feet-high airspace restriction, dubbed the "Pearson Box." With implementation of the Pearson Box, departing aircraft would have been delayed up to 30 minutes until Portland International Airport controllers created a sufficient operational window to allow takeoffs. Delays would have an impact for planes landing and taking off in Portland.

These delays could have caused commercial airport operations and other tenants to depart Pearson Field, increasing operating deficits and ultimately forcing its closure. Pearson is the only remaining general aviation airport in Southwest Washington with an instrument approach.

Approach

CFM worked closely with city officials, airport stakeholders, the Port of Portland and the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations to provide information on the FAA action and advocate for an immediate delay of the Pearson Box. CFM coordinated conference calls and multiple contacts with FAA headquarters in DC to ensure concerns were elevated to the highest level. Washington Senator Patty Murray agreed to lead the effort, which prompted FAA to ask an expert advisory panel to assess Pearson Field issues and recommend a path forward.

Result

In December 2012, the FAA review panel convened in Vancouver. The FAA sent its most senior staff to facilitate the discussion and provide expert counsel. At CFM’s insistence, the panel also included local stakeholders – Pearson pilots, Vancouver city staff and the Port of Portland. Ultimately, the panel threw out the Pearson Box plan and suggested minor communications improvements to allow continued operations of Pearson.

Pacific University: Making a Major Celebration Notable

Overview

Pacific University: Making a Major Celebration Notable

Can you say sesquicentennial? CFM did when it was retained to sharpen the focus of public relations efforts by Pacific University.

Challenge

Although it wasn’t hired to plan sesquicentennial events, CFM selected the private liberal arts college's 150th anniversary as the fulcrum for an integrated set of strategic communications initiatives. There was little time left for planning as the anniversary year (1999) approached.

Approach

CFM developed key messages and produced events, such as a series of town hall forums – the Pacific Questions – on current hot topics. A revised Web site became the vehicle to consistently deliver those messages. The revamped site emerged as a test bed for new Internet-based uses, such as online course information and registration, automated student applicant inquiries and a robust alumni networking service.

Result

The campaign substantially increased news coverage about Pacific University and contributed to a 15 percent increase the following year in full-time student enrollment. The number of public inquiries about college events and publications increased. And contacts with corporate and alumni donors went up, yielding an increase in annual fund contributions.

Oregon Right To Repair

Oregon Right to Repair

Cars have become more dependent on onboard computers and, as a result, increasingly complex to maintain and repair. Some car models have as many as 80 to 100 onboard computers. The electronic tools to read all those computers are expensive because every carmaker has one or more scan tools for its vehicles. 

A repair shop that works on major car brands can spend more than $200,000 for all the necessary scan tools. Many repair shops simply cannot afford to buy them all. That's why the Oregon Right to Repair Coalition has proposed legislation to require all car companies to use a universal interface their diagnostic software. 

CFM is providing a blend of services to help Right To Repair in Oregon:

Research: A survey was conducted among consumers about repair issues and who they trust the most to service their car. They like the convenience and cost of independently owned repairs shops.  

Public Affairs: CFM developed a plan to engage community groups and potential supporters that could reach out to state legislators. Consumer groups such as Economic Fairness Oregon, OSPIRG and AAA/Oregon are supporting legislation to preserve consumer choice in car repair.

Public Relations: A website ­– www.mycarmyinfo.com – was created to support outreach efforts. The site features videos and fact sheets. A media relations effort also was undertaken.  State lobbying: CFM’s Salem team met with legislators and staff members to introduce the legislative concept and build support.

State lobbying: CFM’s Salem team met with legislators and staff members to introduce the legislative concept and build support.

Manufacturing 21: Suite of CFM Services Drives Coalition's Success

Manufacturing 21: Suite of CFM services drive Coalitions success

A CFM survey identified a serious problem for the region’s manufacturing industry: It had a Rodney Dangerfield challenge — no respect. Although manufacturing made up nearly 20 percent of the region’s economy and employed 14 percent of the workforce, its contributions were little appreciated. A handful of companies, working with the Portland Development Commission and Clackamas County, turned to CFM to create the Manufacturing 21 Coalition.

CFM services played a vital role:

  • Public Affairs: CFM organized the Coalition, which grew from a small core group to more than 80 members. CFM Partner Norm Eder has served as the Coalition’s executive director and the firm has provided support services.
  • Research: Early in the process, CFM assessed manpower, training and skill-set needs among Manufacturing 21 members to shape an agenda. Research consisted of one-on-one executive interviews and an online survey.
  • State and Federal lobbying: Once formed, the Coalition turned its attention to key industry concerns, such as encouraging public investments in industry-scale applied research and workforce training. CFM won local and federal appropriations to support the R&D and worker training agenda. State lobbying secured additional support.
  • Public Relations: To give the Coalition a voice and tell memorable stories, CFM created a website and conducted media relations.

Results: Since the Coalition was formed, it has raised millions of dollars in federal support, as well as creating partnerships with the region’s colleges, universities and worker training centers. The Coalition has become the go-to voice for the manufacturing.

Whole Foods Market: Opening a New Store with a Buzz

Whole Foods Market: Opening a New Store with a Buzz

Overview

In food-savvy Portland, opening a new natural and organic food grocery store isn't necessarily cause for much notice.

Challenge

Whole Foods Market hired CFM to make sure Portland was abuzz about its arrival as the first tenant in the historic Brewery Blocks redevelopment project.

Approach

CFM used a variety of tools to get Portlanders talking about the arrival of Whole Foods, including early media mentions in gossip columns. CFM created a Web site that offered a virtual tour of the store. Outreach also included direct mailer to households within a 10-mile radius. And CFM planned a VIP pre-opening event that attracted more than 600 persons, who nibbled on the store’s bounty. It also oversaw a breaking-bread opening ceremony, featuring the mayor of Portland.

Result

The two events drew extensive media coverage. Within hours, the store was literally packed with customers, creating one of the strongest openings of a Whole Food Market anywhere in the country.