TRENTON, NJ: Jaffe Communications has coordinated a Thursday morning public affairs rally to urge the New Jersey State Legislature to pass the Opportunity Scholarship Act. The event was expected to draw at least 2,000 state residents.
The rally is one part of a multifaceted public affairs campaign launched last month by the firm after it was hired by nonprofit We Can Do Better New Jersey. The goal is to get the legislation, which would provide tax-credit scholarships for up to 40,000 children, passed before the end of the lame-duck session in January. The credits can be used at participating public and private schools.
The pilot voucher program, part of Gov. Chris Christie's education reform agenda, would give tax credits to corporations that pay for scholarships for students to transfer out of underperforming school districts. Opponents of the bill have also reportedly planned rallies.
The firm's public affairs campaign also incorporates advertising buys in targeted legislative districts, including billboards, bus advertising, and posters at New Jersey Transit rail stations, said Jonathan Jaffe, managing principal of Jaffe Communications.
The firm is also pitching Op-Eds from prominent supporters to major daily newspapers and online news sources around the state, as well as coordinating a letter-to-the-editor campaign and editorial board meetings.
Jaffe Communications has also run public affairs campaigns for the New Jersey Charter School Association and Courage To Connect New Jersey, a nonprofit that encourages municipalities to consolidate services to help the state save money.
John Eriksen, who sits on the board of We Can Do Better New Jersey and is the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Paterson, said he hired Jaffe Communications because of work it has done for his school district.
He said the firm has done a good job of “translating the will of the majority into an effective communications plan.”
Eriksen declined to comment on the budget for the campaign.