The November 2015 Portland, Maine ballot included a minimum wage increase to $15 per an hour in the City. The Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce hired Toby McGrath of Drummond Woodsum to defeat the proposed increase. Initial internal polling had "Yes" winning by 27%. These polling numbers were not surprising. The $15 minimum wage had never been defeated at the ballot box.
With just six weeks to run a campaign Mr. McGrath created a coalition of small businesses, non-profits and progressives to defeat the referendum in the most liberal municipality in Maine. We were steadfast and meticulous in executing our strategic plan focused on employee and small business engagement, localizing the election and being disciplined with our messaging in paid and earned media communications. In the end, the Chamber we were successful in defeating the $15 minimum wage by a 14% margin of victory.
Toby's success in helping defeat the Portland minimum wage ballot has been noticed. The Washington Post called him out in the article "Portland, Maine Rejects a $15 Minimum Wage. Here's What That Means," and The Portland Press Herald called him out in the article "Portland Businesses Cheer Voters' Rejection of $15 Minimum Wage."
Quincy Hentzel, the President of the Chamber had this to say: "Toby took on this task with a mound of hurdles in front of him – no money, no time, and a tough complicated message to get out to the voters. He took what little he was given and launched an incredibly full and effective campaign. Our win on Tuesday night was a huge step forward for the Chamber. And I can attribute that win in large part to the tireless work and dedication of Toby."
November 4, 2015, The Washington Post "Portland, Maine Rejects a $15 Minimum Wage. Here's What That Means." To read the article please click here.
November 3, 2015, Portland Press Herald "Portland Businesses Cheer Voters' Rejection of $15 Minimum Wage." To read the article please click here.