SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Endowment is a not-for-profit foundation with over $3 billion in assets under management and focused primarily on healthcare issues of Californians. But their new billboard campaign is getting heavy on politics.
“The idea that something that attacks you, people you care about, or things that are in the interest of our state, the health of your state – you should speak out and get loud” explained Daniel Zingale, a senior vice president with California Endowment.
And stay loud. That’s the message behind the new multi-city, state –wide incentive.
The billboards feature elements of the California state flag, such as a white background with a red stripe and star and the California grizzly bear. Off to the left side is the word “resist” in multiple languages, such as Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese, a testament to the state’s diversity. The hashtag #StayLoud is imprinted at the bottom.
“This campaign is about encouraging all Californians to make sure their voice is heard. That our voice is heard in Washington. That our voice is heard here in the capital in Sacramento,” said Zingale.
He says the aim of the billboards is to promote “California values,’ regardless of political party or affiliation – the values that make California the powerhouse that it is today.
“Californians, of all parties, regardless of which candidates you like or don’t like, which politician you like or don’t like, we want your voice to be heard,” he says.
But critics are also getting loud about concerns over the campaign – and it’s message of political inclusion.
“The negativity that they are trying to drive, the cynicism that they are trying to compel as their main message frame, is exactly what turns people off to the political process,” says Mike Madrid, who has been a Republican political consultant for the past 20 years.
Madrid says he admires that campaign for attempting to get people politically engaged and for reaching out to diverse communities. But he adds that the billboards are not the way to do it, especially since much of the messaging tends to be aimed at the current politics in Washington.
“For them to incorporate into an existing national narrative and then somehow say, ‘Oh, that’s not what we are doing,’ doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Madrid.
Still, Zingale say the campaign is making progress.
“We hear that this campaign is helping to encourage people to show up at town halls, ask questions, and as we like to say, ‘stay loud,’” explained Zingale.
Zingale says local organization are already picking up on the messaging. Many have begun to use the hashtag #StayLoud and #Resist on T-shirts and other multi-media campaigns.
The billboard campaign will continue to spread to other cities over the coming year.