City Fields

The Challenge

In 2012, 50+1 Strategies began working with the City Fields Foundation to organize supporters of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation in Golden Gate Park. Despite their success in renovating athletic fields across the city and dramatically increasing playtime for San Francisco’s youth, the City Fields Foundation faced significant opposition. After years of effort
and an exhaustive public process, the city’s Planning Commission, Recreation and Parks Commission, and Board of Supervisors would finally vote on the project. 50+1 Strategies came on board in February 2012 when the fate of the project was uncertain.

The Solution

50+1 Strategies embraced this organizing challenge. We set a very ambitious goal of identifying project champions who could help lead our efforts: soccer coaches to small business owners to leaders in the education community. We developed these leaders and coached them through each step of our organizing plan to identify and turn out hundreds of project supporters, youth and adults, to critical City Hall hearings. We went directly to the soccer fields to talk to youth players and their parents, and we utilized the data- driven, methodical approach to make thousands of phone calls to prospective supporters.

Hundreds of project supporters came out to City Hall to speak in favor of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation. In an unprecedented effort, over 200 youth showed their support by testifying in support of the project. The diversity and passion of our supporters impacted the decision makers and we won unanimous or nearly unanimous votes in favor of the project.

Two years later, opponents placed Proposition H on the ballot to stop the renovation of the play fields. We were able to mobilize a community of supporters we cultivated against this measure and place the competing local measure, Prop I, on the ballot. Our work in developing this base of support was instrumental.

Two years later, opponents placed Proposition H on the ballot to stop the renovation of the play fields. We were able to mobilize a community of supporters we cultivated against this measure and place the competing local measure, Prop I, on the ballot. Our work in developing this base of support was instrumental.

Prop H was defeated, while Prop I won at the ballot box with 54 percent of the vote.

# of Youth Engaged

%

Prop I Win

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