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based in Santa Barbara, California.

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CASE STUDY: Listen, Analyze, Engage & Mobilize to get Results for our Clients

ASSIGNMENT

Develop and execute a community relations strategy to grow support for the proposed Oakmont Assisted Living Facility in Camarillo, CA, in order to counter and correct misinformation brought forth through local neighborhood opponents. Rincon Strategies was engaged by Oakmont three weeks prior to the hearing – one of our quickest turn around times for a project – requiring quick planning and execution.

BACKGROUND
Oakmont Assisted Living Facilities proposed and received approval through the Planning Commission for an 85-unit facility to serve seniors and memory care patients. After receiving approval, a group of residents in the neighborhood organized and raised funds to file an appeal against the project, citing concerns over the proper use for the site, traffic, safety and zoning issues regarding the use of quasi-public designation.

LISTEN
Rincon Strategies initiated engagement by doing a deep dive into the community, deciphering what the issues were associated with the project and what residents of the impacted neighborhood were citing as reasons for opposing the project.

ANALYZE
After concluding which issues were driving opposition to the project, Rincon Strategies developed a strategy to build community support for the project, both within the neighborhood and the city of Camarillo at large.

ENGAGE & MOBILIZE
With targets in place, Rincon Strategies recruited senior care professionals in order to bring in champions that were able to speak on the importance and need of senior care both in the city, and in the county. Community members were also recruited to send in emails to the city council, expressing their support for seniors and for the project.

In addition to targeted outreach efforts, community canvassing was undertaken in the effected community and in neighborhoods near other senior living facilities, in an effort to show living next to a senior care facility will not put a neighborhood into decline. Those that supported the project as a result of canvassing efforts agreed to sign form letters that were sent into the council en masse as to have our message have the greatest impact on the council as possible.

General community members and senior care professionals were activated to speak at the council meeting to deliver their targeted messages that all aimed at countering council concerns and misinformation brought forth by the opposition.


RESULTS
After a grueling 8-hour long council hearing, with approximately 250 community opponents in attendance, the council members began to use our messaging of the need for more senior care and that living next to a senior facility is not the negative that it was made out to be by the opposition group. After all was said and done, the council approved the project with a 4 to 1 vote.