How Measure A happened...

posted by Chris Wilder

Wednesday, November 5, 2008, at

To the voters of Santa Clara County: THANK YOU for saving Valley Medical Center!

Measure A passed by a whopping 78% - way beyond our wildest expectations. Now, we get to work building a new hospital, letting the public know how it's going every step of the way.

Here's a bit about how it was done: The Measure A campaign really began before there was any Measure A…with a little public opinion polling. The results, obtained in early May, told us that we couldn't expect to win unless we educated voters about Valley Medical Center. Specifically, they had to know about our trauma services, burn center, and that no matter where you go for health care, you or someone you love might need VMC at any time. So, we turned these messages that resonated so well in the polling into the ballot statement, and ultimately, into the "argument in favor of Measure A."

Obviously, getting the message out takes money and endorsements. We had a great team, led by Elizabeth Nielsen and Public Affairs Associates, to line up the support as quickly as we could. Every hospital in the region, pretty much every elected official in the valley, business and labor...everyone got on board quickly to support Measure A.

A little over a million dollars was raised, and we are so grateful for everyone who gave. Medical centers, trades, doctors and nurses…all opened their hearts and their wallets to ensure we could keep our TV commercials on the air and our mailings reaching voters' mailboxes. The stories we told of lives saved by Valley Medical Center, and the big picture about seismic safety and disaster preparedness, really hit home. The final message was key: If you are worried about the economy, Measure A is a great economic stimulator. Thousands of jobs created, vs. thousands of hospital jobs lost if VMC had to shut down half of its patient beds.

Put it all together, add a top-notch field campaign by the South Bay Labor Council, remembering that we faced NO opposition, and perhaps it shouldn't have shocked us that we won by a mile. Still, conventional wisdom is that bond measures are tough to pass county-wide, especially when everyone is freaked out about the economy. It's now clear that, to the voters of Santa Clara County, preserving a strong public hospital is more important than any worries about Wall Street. Doesn't that sound like a healthy attitude?

With deep gratitude,
Chris Wilder



Post a Comment

Please note: Pasting text directly from Microsoft Word may result in unusual characters being displayed.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

© 2007 Working Partnerships USA, All rights reserved.