By Bilen Mesfin Packwood and Stephanie Ong
At Change Consulting, our purpose is clear: We are here to use communications to advance racial justice and create real material change for Black communities and communities of color. We know that without building power – especially electoral power – for communities most impacted by injustice, Black people and people of color will continue to be shut out of opportunities to shape the decisions that impact our lives. And we believe our democracy will continue to suffer as a result. That’s why we are so proud to have supported changemakers who are expanding political power for communities, pushing for progressive policies, and shifting narrative. Here are a few of our highlights from the 2022 midterms:
Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton: We helped shape and implement the communications strategy and messaging for the reelection campaign of this progressive district attorney who faced a “tough on crime” challenger backed by law enforcement. District Attorney Becton won with 56 percent of the vote, making her the only progressive District Attorney reelected in California this election cycle.
Black Futures Lab/Black to the Future Action Fund: We created and led earned media strategies to support Black Futures Lab and Black to the Future Action Fund and their groundbreaking work to make Black people powerful in politics, so we can be powerful in the rest of our lives. Change Consulting secured more than 60 stories this year on Black Futures Lab’s and Black to the Future Action Fund’s data polling initiatives, and their influence on building political power among Black people, including on the ReidOut, Cross Connection, Roland Martin, and in Essence, Ebony, Politico, USA Today, the Hill, the Grio, and Capital B.
Power California: We supported the release of Power California’s 2022 Youth poll, which revealed that amid growing pessimism, young California voters of color were motivated to vote by housing, inflation, and reproductive freedom. We secured coverage on The Root, the California Report, in the San Francisco Chronicle and more.
California Donor Table: This year, California Donor Table mobilized over $9 million to support power-building efforts that are making California politics more progressive; 70 percent of the candidates of color they supported won elections in 2022, including Alameda District Attorney-elect Pamela Price, and the reelection of Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton. Critically, we helped CDT interrupt the false narrative that progressives were losing elections following the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Dozens of publications covered CDT’s viewpoint, including the Associated Press, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, Bolts, and the San Francisco Chronicle, affirming that voters made a resounding showing for reformers like Becton and Price, as well as Attorney General Rob Bonta.
AAPI CEF: Change Consulting reached out to media in key swing congressional districts in Nevada and California with data from AAPI Civic Engagement Fund about the impact of AAPI voters in these races. Their election eve poll showed that in states with at least 10% AAPI voters, Democrats retained a significant advantage. Over the past 10 years, AAPI voters have become a solid Democratic voting bloc with increasing power to influence election results. The poll was covered on NBC News, AsAmNews, and more.
RepresentWomen: Our earned media team took the lead in lifting up RepresentWomen’s key issues of gender parity in government, how critical ranked choice voting is to achieving it, and other barriers to electing more women across the U.S. We connected them with journalists from ABC, NBC, Slate, Fast Company, Maine Public Radio, and KUNM. We secured coverage in The Hill.
Urban Peace Movement: We supported UPM’s efforts to reimagine youth justice in Alameda County through electoral strategies, including a public awareness campaign about the role the District Attorney plays in the criminal justice system and how much power they wield. Their work was covered by KQED, ABC7 News, Davis Vanguard, Bay Area News Group, KRON, KTVU, KCBS, and NBC Bay Area.
Protecting and expanding our democracy is one of the most important fights of our time. As we look ahead to 2024, we know the work to build political power for our communities requires deep investment and focus outside of election cycles. We invite you to support these groups and leaders by donating to them or sharing the word about their work.
If you are an organization committed to building political power for Black communities and communities of color, and are looking for communications partnership, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.