Building Public Support to Fund Preservation Work (Spitfire Strategies, 2012)

The Iowa Department of Transportation asked SSTI for assistance building public support for a gas tax increase to fund critical repair and maintenance work. SSTI contracted with Spitfire Strategies, a strategic communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and foundations, to help Iowa craft effective messaging that would resonate with policymakers and key stakeholders. Based on SSTI and Spitfire’s work in Iowa and recent polling, this paper outlines how transportation professionals can gain support for a “fix-it-first” approach to transportation policy. It highlights messages and tactics that have effectively garnered voter and policymaker support and presents lessons learned from the Iowa Department of Transportation.