Strong Public Outreach Helps Move Flood Protection Forward
Strong Public Outreach
Helps Move Flood Protection Forward
“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."
flood protection manager
City of West Sacramento
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.