Engaging the public and stakeholders in programs that affect them.

Government agencies often disrupt the status quo. It might be a new road or water rate increases. It could be new levees, energy lines, or a new sports and entertainment center.

These projects come with many community benefits, but also disruption, stakeholder issues and individual concerns. We work with stakeholders to mitigate concerns and keep the public informed. We blend research, strategy and creativity to form a communication plan to spread information and garner public support.

West Sac Flood Protect

Strong Public Outreach Helps Move Flood Protection Forward

Strong Public Outreach
Helps Move Flood Protection Forward

Client: City of West SacramentoprintBtn
Program: West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency





Crocker & Crocker’s leadership on our public outreach efforts has enabled us to reach out to our community in engaging and dynamic ways. Their talent and creativity earned West Sacramento a national media and outreach award from the nation’s premiere flood and stormwater organization."

Greg Fabun

flood protection manager

City of West Sacramento


Partner Puzzle Presentation


Flood protection has been the City of West Sacramento’s highest priority for many years. The City is surrounded by 52 miles of levees. Approximately 25 miles of levees require updates to meet state and federal standards. These updates impact property owners with issues ranging from construction inconvenience to property takes.

Several levee segments in the north part of West Sacramento are complete. A large, highly vulnerable stretch of levee requires repairs in the south part of the City. Many residents, small farming operations and builders are impacted and may lose some or all of their property. Various factors weigh into the project including FEMA remapping, funding, levee design, real estate values, community outreach, flood insurance rates and more.

Crocker & Crocker’s outreach approach focuses on stakeholder research, strategy and customized outreach for each levee segment. Messaging focuses on the agency’s commitment to public safety and ensuring the least possible impact to private property owners.

The communications program is proactive, honest and forthright. The outreach is constant and multi-faceted and is specific for different audiences in the community. Key elements include:

  • Stakeholder research and planning
  • Public workshops
  • Website and outreach materials  
  • Speakers bureau
  • Media relations and press event
  • Multicultural outreach
  • Project champions 

To date, the outreach for the levee projects has been successful. Crocker & Crocker managed the Prop 218 mail-back ballot assessment outreach and helped get it passed by 70 percent. The West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce supported the project, wrote letters and spoke at board meetings. Recently, the property owners’ attorney said she had “never worked with a public agency more committed to working with residents than West Sacramento.” Because of ongoing and productive communications with residents, the amount of private property required for the project is much less than during initial design phases.

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Intermodal Facility

Public Outreach Drives Largest Infill Project in the Nation

Public Outreach Drives Largest
Infill Project in the Nation 

Client: City of SacramentoprintBtn
Project: Railyards – Track Relocation

By all accounts, Crocker & Crocker has consistently delivered a complete package of strategy, methods and implementation on all projects in which I’ve worked with them. If you need outreach and want to trust that all details will be managed, start to finish, they’re the ones. They went above and beyond on a tight timeline and didn’t miss a beat. Without their efficient and effective work on the EIR process, there’s a potential we could’ve missed out on federal stimulus money."


Linda Tucker
interim media & communications manager
Office of the City Manager, City of Sacramento

Track Relo 3

The City of Sacramento planned to build an intermodal transportation facility, two bridges, and straighten tracks at the Sacramento Railyards, the nation’s largest infill project. There was concern special interest groups might oppose the project because of environmental, growth and historical factors. A proactive outreach effort was necessary to manage communications, media content, city council protests and possible stakeholder opposition. The City retained Crocker & Crocker to assist with public outreach to ensure proper noticing necessary to meet the next round of state and federal funding. Without a successful outreach program, the project stood to lose $20 million in stimulus funds needed to complete the project.

Crocker & Crocker and the project team ensured workshops met noticing requirements while ensuring the City informed and involved stakeholders through various components of the project. 

Program elements included:

  • Project website
  • Comprehensive stakeholder involvement
  • Project newsletter and public notices
  • Public meeting facilitation
  • Coordination with CEQA and NEPA outreach requirements

The project team delivered all legal public notices properly and on time through advanced planning and coordination with federal, state and local agencies. Virtually no stakeholders opposed the project because the outreach effort exceeded the minimum legal noticing requirements. All major Sacramento news networks and major local publications covered the event including the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Business Journal.

After successfully completing the environmental phase, the City retained Crocker & Crocker to organize and implement groundbreaking and grand opening events attended by federal, state and city representatives.

Yard Waste Changes

Stakeholder Engagement Paves the Way to Cleaner Streets

Stakeholder Engagement
Paves the Way to Cleaner Streets

Client: City of Sacramento, Solid WasteprintBtn
Project: Service Changes – Cleaner Streets Program



Crocker & Crocker’s creative and strategic approach to the controversial yard waste changes was a critical component to this project. Their efforts brought about numerous positive news stories, engaged City residents and ultimately helped Measure T pass.”

Steve Harriman

integrated waste general manager

City of Sacramento Solid Waste




Cleaner Streets 2


The City of Sacramento was one of only three cities in California to provide year-round loose-in-the-street pick up. Sacramento customers could put yard waste in the street instead of containers. This service was a key component the solid waste division was thinking about changing to bring greater efficiencies. Other proposed changes included changing recycling from weekly to bi-weekly and mandating containerized yard waste.

Each change had the potential for strong controversy and public scrutiny. In addition, the loose-in-the-street change required voters to overturn an existing law that had been in place for nearly 35 years, Measure A. The first effort to overturn Measure A in 1988 did not pass. This time, even though only a small percent of customers were using the service, they were vocal, influential and passionate.

The city needed a strong educational program if voters were to consider overturning the measure. The city retained Crocker & Crocker to conduct public outreach prior to the city council’s vote to place a new measure on the ballot. Crocker & Crocker’s role was especially important since solid waste did not have a PIO.

Crocker & Crocker developed a strategy based on public opinion research. The approach involved creating a brand that demonstrated the primary goal and benefit of changing the street pick up collection — “cleaner streets” — and continually relayed factual information about the benefits of changing the service levels: improved appearance, safety, air quality and noise pollution. Part of the city’s approach was to guarantee no solid waste rate increases for three years if the changes passed. Project components included:

  • Branding
  • Phone survey and focus groups
  • Microsite and blog
  • Media relations
  • Print materials
  • Public workshops

The blog substantially cut down on calls from concerned residents. There were over 1,200 comments logged and answered. Many positive editorials and news stories ran about the service changes. There were many well-attended public workshops. The Cleaner Streets microsite received tens of thousands of visitors and was the cornerstone of the outreach program. City council members adopted the Cleaner Streets brand and used it in their communications.

The city council voted to put a measure on the ballot — Measure T — to see if its voters wanted to overturn Measure A. Voters passed Measure T by just over a 50 percent margin.

Regional San Interceptors

Outreach Prevents Outcry During Construction

Outreach Prevents Negative
Outcry along 37 Miles of
Massive Construction

Client: Sacramento Regional County Sanitation DistrictprintBtn
Project: Upper Northwest Interceptor and Joint Bradshaw Design and Construction Projects

Heads Up



The interceptor projects had a huge public relations component. Crocker & Crocker successfully handled all the outreach ‘footwork,’ collateral production, hotline and complaint issues. We were very confident in their ability to complete the huge workload. We all agree, the outreach was a huge success!”

Bernie Galvin
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District




Interceptor 1


Two Regional San interceptor projects spanned over 37 miles of sewer interceptor pipelines. Pipeline alignments ran through older neighborhoods and new ones. They cut through bike paths, major commuter streets, massive business parks, rural pastures and new developments. Challenges included road detours, road closures, noise, odor, sound, weather delays, general sanitation concerns and visual impacts. Any one of them was enough to invoke public outcry to the media, management or elected officials. The communications challenges were immense considering there were multiple construction seasons and multiple contractors.

Crocker & Crocker worked on both projects from design through construction. Early in design, communications concentrated on potentially affected stakeholders. As construction grew closer, the team continually educated and updated the stakeholders and public. Crocker & Crocker developed a strategic plan and crisis communications plan. Tactics included:

  • Strategy
  • Website, commuter updates and hotlines
  • Fact sheets and newsletters
  • Public, neighborhood and stakeholder meetings
  • Media relations
  • Advertising
  • Door-to-door canvassing

Our team served as an extension of the district’s staff by managing communications with affected property owners and media representatives. Outreach involved thousands of conversations and written communications.

We delivered a successful program and effectively implemented the outreach strategies and activities so the district could concentrate on their day-to-day activities. Following construction, stakeholders of all types wrote complimentary letters and emails about the communications outcomes to district staff.

Regional Water Authority

Fierce Facilitation Forms Regional Water Authority

Fierce Facilitation Forms Regional Water Authority

Client: Regional Water AuthorityprintBtn
Project: RWA Formation 




For two years, Lucy facilitated over 60 meetings for RWA’s development — large group meetings, small task group meetings — which involved everything RWA needed to become an organization: the JPA document, name of the organization, the dues structure and her role was advocacy policies and everything else.”


Shauna Lorance

general manager
San Juan Water District




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Over 20 water providers in the Sacramento region created an umbrella organization to serve the needs and interests of water providers and merge the products and services of six existing water associations. Key leaders agreed the region needed a strong entity that would benefit all members, but there were also concerns. They disagreed about resources, duplication of services and staff, lack of forward progress and the ultimate mission of the organization relating to regional and state water politics.

Crocker & Crocker designed and facilitated monthly planning workshops to generate ideas, identify priorities, mitigate issues and solve problems. These lengthy planning workshops allowed the group to move toward consensus on the new entity’s mission, leadership, political boundaries, name, tagline, goals and financial structure. Other tactics included:

  • Informative newsletters
  • Speakers bureau
  • Inaugural event
  • Name and tagline

After two years of planning, Crocker & Crocker facilitated consensus between the organizations. The Regional Water Authority (RWA) was inaugurated with 18 signatory members representing the majority of water providers in the Sacramento region. RWA’s organizational structure led to the successful launch of a regional water efficiency program, significant grant acquisitions, new programs and services and more. Crocker & Crocker managed the regional water efficiency public outreach program for many years. 


1614 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811