Leaders in Public Policy
Prior to HighGround’s inception and in the years since, our team has played an integral role in several significant public policy efforts in Arizona. This state is our home and we are committed to working on issues to leave things better than we found it.
We are not new to this arena – we have spent our time, our efforts, and our political capital to build a state that we can be proud of. From transportation to healthcare, we have worked with leaders to promote policy to shape our state and defeat efforts that would hurt it.
HighGround specializes in coalition development and grassroots coordination. We have shown time and again our ability to reach out across the state to establish support and an alliance with community figures, elected officials, and business organizations. Below are some of the examples of how we have provided leadership in public policy:
Disproportionate Share Funding (1995)
Even prior to the formation of the company, our members worked with Peter Burns and the Republican Governors Association to establish Republican policy position on health care funding and disproportionate share funding.
Juvenile Justice Initiative (1995-1996)
HighGround worked as the principal consultant on the juvenile justice initiative. The law required that 15-17 year old juveniles who were charged with murder, armed robbery or rape to be remanded to adult court. The initiative passed with 62.9% of the vote.
Growing Smarter Legislative Package and Preserve Arizona Ballot (1996-1998)
HighGround, Inc. helped build the diverse coalition of conservation groups, elected officials and others to create the Arizona Growing Smarter Act. The team then lobbied to successfully pass legislation and successfully managed the passage of Proposition 303, the Preserve Arizona Initiative in 1998. This is the only public land management campaign to gain voter approval in modern Arizona history.
Multi-use Stadium (1997-1999)
HighGround, Inc. was among the first consultants hired to help create the Stadium district that ultimately led to the construction of the multi-use facility. Established a Tourism and Sports Authority for the purpose of constructing, financing, and promoting a multipurpose facility, major league baseball spring training facilities, and community youth and amateur sports facilities.
Defeated Growth Management Initiative (2000)
HighGround worked with the Arizona Association of Realtors to build a coalition of Realtors and the development industry throughout Arizona to successfully defeat the Sierra Club’s Proposition 202, the Growth Management Initiative.
Power Generation (2001)
HighGround has a long history of working with the Salt River Project. One significant project ensured that SRP is able to generate enough affordable electricity to meet Arizona’s growing demands. HighGround helped SRP develop an Arizona organization, “Arizona Power Consumers,” which included the East Valley Partnership, WESTMARC, the Arizona Association of Industries and the East Valley Chamber Alliance as well as many neighbors and neighborhood groups. The campaign was successful in creating a positive public environment that encouraged the development of additional electrical generating capacity for Arizona consumers such as the expansion of the San Tan Generating Station in Gilbert.
Maricopa County Hospital District (2001-2003)
Our team was the principal public affairs and lobbying team for the legislation that authorized the creation of the new Maricopa County Hospital District on behalf of Maricopa County. Following the successful passage of the legislation, HighGround was retained as the principal campaign consultant for the Yes on 414 Committee, which won voter approval from Maricopa County voters in November of 2003.
Regional Transportation Plan (2002-2004)
For over three years, HighGround, Inc. served as the principle public affairs consultant for the Associated General Contractors, the Arizona Rock Products Association and the Arizona Business Coalition in developing the ½ cent transportation sales tax extension plan to be considered by Maricopa County voters. The majority of the members of this team managed this issue through two legislative sessions that saw the establishment of the transportation process and the approval of the plan developed by the process. The team moved on to manage the campaign for the passage of Proposition 400 on the November 2004 general election ballot.
BCS National Championship Game (2005)
HighGround worked on and passed enabling legislation to create a special use agreement to allow the stadium to host the newly created BCS National Championship Game. It also included establishing a mechanism to return transaction privilege tax revenues from ticket sales, ticket surcharges, or parking related user fees to the appropriate parties.
Appropriation to build the ASU Polytechnic Institute (2006)
Worked with ASU and local leaders to secure an appropriated $103 million to construct a Polytechnic Academic Complex to be located at the ASU East Campus.
Safe Communities Act (2008)
HighGround worked to allow the court to adjust a person’s length of probation if the person is qualified for earned time credit. It provides a process for a portion of the cost savings from a reduction in probation revocations to be used for probation programs.
Privatization of SCF AZ (2010)
Requires effective January 1, 2013, a mutual insurer corporation become the successor in interest to al the assets and liabilities of the State Compensation Fund.
Balancing Arizona’s Budget – Proposition 100 (2010)
Worked with Governor Brewer’s office, business, and education leaders to pass a budget that contained a mix of cuts, borrowing, and temporary revenue. The temporary one cent budget measure was referred to the voters as Proposition 100 in May of 2010. Highground assisted as a strategic consultant to Integrated Web Strategies in their efforts. Proposition 100 passed with 64.3% of the vote.