The Financial Justice Project Integrated Marketing Strategy and Implementation Plan
How D&A Helped Break the Cycle of Economic Disparity
In 2016, the City and County of San Francisco became the first in the nation to launch a Financial Justice Project (FJP). The goal of the project was to mitigate how fees and fines have an adverse, disproportionate financial impact on the city’s low-income residents and communities of color. In partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the San Francisco Superior Courts (SF Courts), and Governor Gavin Newson, FJP works with community groups, city and county departments, and the courts to advance reforms that work better for the people and for the government.
Fines and fees, often imposed for minor infractions, can pose a significant financial burden on low-income individuals who may already struggle to meet their basic needs. Paying a parking ticket can mean diverting funds from essential expenses such as rent, utility bills, or groceries. This issue highlights the systemic inequalities that exist within our justice and economic systems, leading to a cycle of poverty and further marginalization for those already struggling to make ends meet.
Drive awareness and educate the city’s low-income residents and communities of color about the variety of resources available. Make information—from the array of discounts, eligibility requirements or application process that help mitigate the disproportionate financial impact—accessible, relatable, consistent, and equitable.
Through a series of listening sessions with Bay Area community members, D&A established a baseline of current beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions surrounding fines and fees, and gleaned insights about the best ways to raise awareness and engage diverse communities. Our solution was a simple and direct approach via an integrated campaign with highly targeted tactics designed to reach people in specific geographic neighborhoods.
By implementing an integrated marketing strategy that emphasized the importance of DEI and stakeholder engagement, D&A helped proactively combat the adverse and disproportionate impact of fines and fees by reaching historically excluded communities in targeted zip codes around San Francisco County. Through strategic efforts, D&A helped strengthen awareness of the available resources designed to help people in need. Our strategic plan included a digital paid media campaign that was executed and optimized over a designated time period—resulting in a suite of in-language ads produced in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino. D&A introduced attention-grabbing messaging designed to reflect relatable scenarios in which people could see themselves—from being issued traffic and tow fines to parking tickets. The integrated approach was supplemented with content by community print and online publications, newsletters, street posters, interior bus card ads, and a digital toolkit.
D&A’s comprehensive approach contributed to increasing equitable access and breaking the cycle of economic disparities caused by fines and fees.