Derek T Consulting Services helps change the future of Cardiff-by-the-Sea

When a few city officials voted to pave over a beautiful natural section of public coastal land in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, local residents decided to take action. They needed to get the word out to their neighbors, and give them an easy way to let their elected officials know that they disagreed with the city’s plans.

Joe Alkhas spearheaded the grassroots No Rail Trail initiative and approached us about creating a website. He wanted the site to enable supporters to fill out a simple form which would send multiple personalized messages to various groups of elected officials and the local media, all at once…something that was simply not possible with most off-the-shelf website solutions.

The city’s plans were already under way, and Joe needed something fast.

In short, the “norailtrail” website was up-and-running within just a few days, and it ignited a grassroots viral campaign. Thousands of local residents and visitors filled out the form in a matter of weeks, and largely as a result, the city voted 4-1 to re-evaluate their plans.
Here’s what Joe had to say about our involvement in the project:

We were in a time crunch because the project had already been voted on, and the plans to develop a rail trail along a sensitive stretch of public coastal land was in full swing. Attempts to work through city officials to reconsider the plans were ineffective, and I realized that the power of many community voices would have to be unified, amplified, and directed at city leaders if there was any hope to make an impact. I discussed a website idea with Derek at Derek T Consulting, and he asked insightful questions to help determine what sort of backend strategy would address my objectives. I wanted a website that enabled supporters and activists to provide basic contact information, and then use that information to construct multiple personalized letters to members of City Council, press reporters, and others. There was no off-the-shelf website offerings that could even remotely accommodate this sort of dynamic, individualized solution, and Derek T Consulting worked with me through every step to quickly launch a working, robust website that served as the engine of a successful grassroots community campaign. Derek was able to perform on a tight time constraint, think outside the box, and adapt the site as required to deliver the solution we needed to contest an undesirable public works project that would have changed the character of our little community.

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