Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Movement Week: The Need for an Emotional Appeal

(Blogger's Note: It is now 5 days since Joe Mondello crassly and rudely insulted a voter at the Kate Murray rally, and he has not yet apologized)

Really great stuff on the post from Monday; I'm glad to see you guys ran with the concept as much as you did. Next week there will be a tying-together post discussing some of the best ideas we saw this week and how we can use that to move forward in advocating for the Lighthouse.

Just a few quick things before we get to the main event:

Selling Coliseum Land?

I've had a few questions about the revelation that Tom Suozzi is selling County-owned buildings in Mitchell Field, the complex which includes Nassau Coliseum. Many readers followed that revelation to its logical end and wondered if the Coliseum itself was for sale.

This proves the County is in dire fiscal straits, though I'm sure Tom Suozzi could have found a solution that did not smell like backroom dealing. Anyway, I've asked around, and Nassau County has no intention of selling the land on which Nassau Coliseum sits. Mitchell Field is a term used to describe over 200 acres of County-owned land that used to be an Air Force base. The article concerns a few office buildings that are on Quentin Roosevelt Blvd, northwest from the Coliseum site. There are no plans to sell the Coliseum land, and many legislators previously promised to vote against the Lighthouse if there is an ultimate transfer of ownership.

To conclude: this development does not affect the Lighthouse in any way, shape or form.

Democratic Convention

Much of what we hope to do in advocating for the Lighthouse hinges on Kate Murray's opponent. The Democrats must nominate a formidable candidate who provides a reasonable alternative in order for our movement to maximize its traction.

This may yet happen, but I will find out when you do. As of right now, the Nassau County Democratic Party denied my request to attend the convention as either a citizen or a member of the media. I will chase one more avenue, but this is not a good start for the Democrats, and it is not the best way to treat a person who practically begged to help you.

Reminder: the convention will be tomorrow evening, at 6PM, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. Kate Murray's opponent will be nominated there.

More Mondello Madness

The Joe Mondello issue has garnered a lot of traction, and I have received emails from many readers who called in. Loyal reader Robert says he called the Nassau County GOP to complain about Joe Mondello's actions on Friday, and in response, the staffer criticized Charles Wang for being unwilling to negotiate and claimed the housing component is a big thing the GOP wants to fight.

Where have we heard this before?

Also, many readers report calling Kate Murray's office to complain, and they all say Kate Murray's office has refused to take responsibility or apologize for the comments. Sorry, Supervisor. If it happened at your event, you're responsible.

To the Movement...

Marketers often talk about the need for an emotional appeal to a product. This scene from Mad Men is a perfect example of what I mean; Don Draper is pitching an advertising campaign for a Kodak slide projector that uses a wheel, yet he manages to make a deep emotional connection (and win the business).

We must do the same thing with the Lighthouse, and I realize that I am just as culpable as everybody else, perhaps moreso. Discussions about Net Present Value and Sports Economics are vital to the discussion, but they cannot and should not be the entire crux of our advocacy for the Lighthouse.

Why is this? Simple: people who oppose the Lighthouse can pull out a trump card on us:

You're destroying suburbia.

It doesn't matter that the current sprawl mentality is actually destroying suburbia. This argument resonates, and it resonates very strongly. Too often (and I am just as guilty of this as everyone else), those advocating for the Lighthouse fall back on the money arguments.

We can do the same thing. As my testimonial (this is the actual video of what I said at the Town of Hempstead on February 24) shows, we have emotional appeals as well:
  • The rest of the region is leaving Long Island behind.
  • Our children are taking the education our tax dollars provide and putting down roots somewhere else. They feel no connection to a place they believe does not want them.
  • We can stand up, at this pivotal moment, and say "yes" to the future, while still retaining that unmistakably Long Island character that we have.
  • We helped put a man on the moon, and we lifted Charles Lindbergh into the air - now our generation has a chance to echo through the pages of history.
These can be powerful arguments, but we need to settle on a few themes and ideas in order to keep the debate on an equal level.

Question to Ponder...

I'll leave you with this as we go into the Comments - How can we make the best emotional appeal for the Lighthouse? Should we push something I mentioned above, or would another argument make our point in a stronger, more emotionally-effective way.

Don Draper caused a major paradigm shift in that clip I linked to above. Kodak had been calling the projector's feature a "wheel," and Don managed to reframe the whole discussion by calling it a "carousel." Let's see what we can do with and for the Lighthouse.

Please share your thoughts in comments. Petition. Email Me. Follow me on Twitter.


  1. I think the biggest emotional appeal right now that hits everyone is tax dollars. We pay so much upstate, but seem to get nothing in return. Heres our chance for one to bring in money to improve existing infrastructure and lower property taxes as a result of the increased tax revenue. Unfortunately, unless the youth vote turns out in massive numbers I do not believe this is the right approach. History tells us they will not, this is not a presidential election and there is not a rock star running for office. (I am a young voter so don't jump down my back I will vote but I don't live in TOH either)We need to find away to appeal to the middle aged residents, as well as the seniors the people who are most concerned with the destroying of "suburbia." Taxes affect all of us, this is why this is the best approach and why Tom Suzzoi seems to be taking this approach as well.

  2. "Loyal reader Robert says he called the Nassau County GOP to complain about Joe Mondello's actions on Friday, and in response, the staffer criticized Charles Wang for being unwilling to negotiate and claimed the housing component is a big thing the GOP wants to fight."

    This is THE issue and the reason why Mondello is showing his Crypt Keeper-like face at Murray "rallys". He/they think that the mixed residences will bring in mostly Dems and they will stop at nothing, as you can see by all the nonsense that he and Murray have been up to, to stop it. Why hasn't anyone spoken publicly about this? Charles Wang should take a full page ad out. I'm kind of surprised he hasn't done that already, to be honest. Didn't they (Isles) used to take ads out in Newsday all the time? Isn't this a little bigger than selling seasons?? I'm sure there are alot of people out there that would be pretty interested to read about all that's been going on since people like Eden Laiken aren't telling the whole truth in their "reporting".

    -Big Van Vader

  3. To me, there are 2 key points that I think would be successful in fostering an emotional response:

    1. You hit on the first one - "Our children are taking the education our tax dollars provide and putting down roots somewhere else. They feel no connection to a place they believe does not want them." This message has a wide demographic appeal as is reaches young voters (for obvious reasons) as well as their family members. Plus, it provides a nice segueway towards exposing the GOPs (presumed) opposition to the Project - the housing component. It shines a light on the "party first" mentality over the benefits to Long Island's youth.

    2. The second point relates to events and culture on Long Island. Highlight the ramifications of the land not being developed and the Coliseum likely going "dark". There is a good chance that means no more circus, Disney on Ice, concerts, home shows, etc on Long Island. Ever. This is our best chance to build a destination hub that will enable us to bring the best of arts and entertainment right to our doorstep.

    I think the tax issue can be a big one as well, but I'm not too well versed on what the REAL benefits will be to the average homeowner. If that's something that can be reasonably estimated and packs a punch, it could easily jump to #1 on my list.


  4. The fact that young people are moving to greener pastures is a real sensitive subject for me because I have lost several cousins to North Carolina, lost friends to Denver and half of my family also moved to Florida...I believe there are so many stories like mine out there and I'm sure there are many people on the verge of losing their loved ones also...I believe we can get the "moms and dads" of our "native sons & daughters" from LI to get behind this...I'm sure my story hits close to home because they're worried about their kids graduating college but will never move back home or worse they will follow their family out...The LHP might be a viable option for people to look into before just moving elsewhere...

    The other thing is the "pure hockey fans", these people need to have the facts pounded into their minds, the story about "Al D'Mato begging Wang to save the Isles" was only news to me a few months ago when someone told me the story on Botta's blog...I think the Isles fans would appreciate the facts and maybe put to rest the idea that Wang should just rebuild the NVMC...The fact that he doesn't own it either and that SMG is robbing him blind is another thing...It's important not to try and make people feel sorry for Wang but to get mad at the way the Isles owner was lied to and in turn they are lying to all Isles fans and Long Islanders alike...

  5. WTF happened to Da'Mato in all this anyway???

  6. Anyone going to the Democratic Convention tomorro should wear their Isles jerseys AND BRING A DUFFEL BAG!! Hold it up in the air like rally signs!! That will pissem' off!!

  7. :lol: The "duffle" bag idea is phenomenal...Oh man, Im gonna try and get there...

  8. I belive one of the most emotional issues we should try to address is the job creation that this project will create. With the state of our economy what a better way to stir emotion. I also agree that taxes is also a huge issue. The most important thing though is once again all political. If the Democrats can really make this election about the Lighthouse and really put the pressure on Murray, I beleive that this could turn the tide in our favor. There is nothing that can bring the Lighthouse into the limelight more, than if Murray and the Republicans start to feel the heat from there Democratic rival. Then we can get into a real street fight which will lead to greater public debate. If we can get to this point, this is when a rally would really be the most helpful. It's time to get serious because this is way to important to Long Island's future to not fight as hard as we possibly can to see this through.

  9. An emotinal hook?

    "We're not just building some buildings, we're building a better lifestyle."

    "Do you want to explain to your children what used to happen at the NVMC site, or take them there and let them experience it?"

  10. How about this aimed at people 40 and older:

    The Nassau GOP, Joe Mondello, and Kate Murray are anti-Family Values. How so, you may ask? They hate your children. They don't care whether your children will have affordable housing when they enter the workplace. They don't care whether your children stay on Long Island when they get older. They only care about one thing and one thing only--maintaining their power and staying in office. You can make sure they do neither and make the region a better place for your children to live."