In late 2020, ECPR was approached by the International City/County Managers Association about an initiative that was underway to drastically change the City of Austin’s form of government.
A well-funded group of seasoned political operatives in Austin had been working quietly for several months to garner enough voter signatures on a petition to place a ballot proposition, Prop F, on the May 2021 ballot that would install a mayor-council form of government–often referred to as a strong mayor system—to replace Austin’s current council-manager form of government.
ICMA, the national association representing city and county managers, viewed this effort as one that was crucial to defeat or risk a push across the country from similar groups looking to impose strong mayor systems.
Over the course of the contract, ECPR built a strategic plan focused on messaging, media relations, coalition building and community engagement. Our efforts helped our client win a resounding decision at the ballot box as we were successful in defeating the proposed proposition by a margin of 86% to 14%, one of the largest margins in Austin electoral history.