How do you fight an unfair state transportation constitutional amendment and their $4 million advertising campaign budget? Ask the transit couple about their 2014 grassroots campaign with a mere $25,000 but a diverse coalition created by a social media campaign and earned media that yielded a BIG WIN!
St. Louis couple heading up statewide opposition to Amendment 7 (excerpts)
By Jim Fitzpatrick
“Alliances can develop very quickly in politics. Such is the case with me and Tom and Debra Shrout, St. Louis residents who head a campaign committee that is working against Amendment 7 on the Aug. 5 ballot. Until last Sunday, I didn’t know who they were or what they were doing. But now we’re working closely, at a distance of 250 miles, to defeat Amendment 7 (a measure to change vehicle-related revenue streams paying for transportation projects to a state sales tax with no cost to trucking companies).
Back to Tom and Debra. Their committee is called Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions. They have strong backgrounds in transit…Tom, who in 2010 retired after more than 20 years as executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit, a nonprofit organization based in St. Louis. Now, Tom and Debra own and operate a consulting company called Avvantt Partners, which focuses on organizing community support for improved public transit. One of their clients has been Jackson County, for which they worked on a transit education program. Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions will be a low-budget operation. But it will get out its message. Tom and Debra are also active on social media – a beast that is foreign to this “dead-tree-media” fellow.”
And, we won!!!