Issues Campaign: Social Justice

CLIENT: New York Immigration Coalition

CAMPAIGN: Driver's Licenses NOW

Lay of the land

The push to allow all New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status, the ability to obtain driver’s licenses had languished for the last 12 years without much movement or public discussion. The last time around the issue was met with heavy public and political opposition when then-Governor Eliot Spitzer’s unsuccessfully attempted to change the law.


With Democrats taking over the State Senate and renewed energy to push back against the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants, urgency and opportunity were knocking to revive these efforts.  


How we changed the dynamic

Metropolitan Public Strategies was brought in to run a multi-faceted public affairs campaign to educate, engage, and energize the fight for #DriversLicensesNOW. Our public education and advocacy efforts laid the foundation for the most significant movement in over a decade, leading to a growing chorus of support from prominent elected officials on the state and national level such as Senator and Presidental Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, who was a once opponent, Governor Cuomo, State Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins, top law enforcement officials, and many legislators and local elected officials.


To bring the campaign to the forefront of the public policy debate and keep the pressure on lawmakers to take action, we developed a robust earned media and political stakeholder organizing effort, and coupled that with the execution of a highly targeted paid media program that featured a compelling series of videos, graphic ads, social media content and voter advocacy tools.


Value Delivered
  • Full campaign creative production, including video and graphics.

  • Targeting model development to reach media, elected officials, and influencers in New York City, the surrounding counties, and Albany.

  • Built a strategic plan around effective, tested campaign messaging.

  • Consistently landed stories in top media outlets.

The leading pro-immigration group in New York is set to launch a million-dollar campaign pushing the state to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.​


In what could be its biggest campaign, the New York Immigration Coalition, the state’s largest immigration advocacy group, plans to spend at least $1 million on TV, radio and targeted social and digital media ads as well as billboards.

The campaign, which will begin within days, will also involve stepped up lobbying efforts, media engagement, and grassroots efforts in Albany and in lawmakers’ districts.

The NYIC has hired consulting group Metropolitan Public Strategies to help lead the effort.

Read More:

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