Challenge: The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) needed a majority of property owners to support the formation of four assessment districts in 2000, 2007, 2011, and 2016 to raise local matching funds that would secure billions of dollars from the state and federal governments to pay for flood control projects, such as strengthening the levee system surrounding the city and county of Sacramento and modifying a federal dam. The property owners were asked to vote by mail in each of these elections under Proposition 218 (California’s Right to Vote on Taxes Act).

Approach: APCO was responsible for overall strategic direction with SAFCA’s education efforts focused on the major stakeholders, including state and local government officials. Hundreds of community-based organizations and homeowner associations were engaged through direct mail, issue briefings and dozens of community open-house events.

Results: All four assessment proposals were approved by super majorities, ranging from 75 to 84 percent, and collectively generating approximately $800 million in local matching funds to enable SAFCA to secure approximately $3 billion in state and federal funds. Specifically, these elections generated $40 million from 85,000 property owners in 2000; $275 million from 140,000 property owners in 2007; $40 million from 25,000 property owners in 2011; and $440 million from 160,000 property owners in 2016.

Results at a Glance:

  • Won support from 75 to 84 percent of the voting property owners in the four elections
  • Secured approximately $800 million in local matching funds to secure approximately $3 billion in state and federal funds
  • Generated substantial print and broadcast coverage, including favorable editorials
  • Among the largest assessment district of its kind created in California in 2016