Our specialty is designing effective strategies that achieve long-term success for our clients.
Click on the examples below to learn more.

Issue: The City of Walnut Creek's approval of a new Neiman Marcus store in the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center sparked opposition from a competing shopping center developer.

Solution: Zell & Associates helped develop a comprehensive and sophisticated approval strategy that led to placing a local initiative supporting the Neiman Marcus project.

Success: The initiative, Measure I, earned the approval of 71% of local voters, allowing construction to begin on the Neiman Marcus store – providing new revenues for Walnut Creek and new shopping choices for local and regional residents.

Issue: NextEra Energy, the largest wind farm developer in the country, owns many of the historic wind farms in Alameda County's Altamont Pass, as well as in Contra Costa County. The older generation wind farms can be upgraded with newer, state of the art wind turbines, which are more energy efficient and have less impact on the environment.

Solution: Zell & Associates provided communication and advocacy services designed to gain support from the Contra Costa and Alameda County Boards of Supervisors.

Success: NextEra obtained project approvals and entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with Google. About 770 old turbines from the 1980s will be replaced by 48 new machines, producing twice as much energy – enough to power Google's corporate campus in Mountain View with 100 percent renewable energy.

Issue: Despite the desperate medical need for upgrades to a local hospital's outdated Emergency Room, the project faced fierce neighborhood opposition.

Solution: Zell & Associates created a public affairs strategy – using earned media, community advocacy and outreach – to craft a plan that achieved the hospital's goals, while accommodating neighborhood concerns, and which received discretionary approvals from the City of Berkeley.

Success: The Berkeley Zoning Adjustment Board approved the much-needed ER upgrade, and future appeals were avoided through lasting community relationships. The new ER is now serving patients.

Issue: Zell & Associates played a key role in developing local community and political support for a billion dollar modernization of the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California.

Solution: We developed and managed a comprehensive public affairs campaign – including public opinion polling, media relations, advocacy, community relations and coalition building, and a $90 million Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA). The campaign demonstrated strong community and stakeholder support for the project, leading to approvals from the City of Richmond.

Success: The Chevron modernization project commenced construction in 2016. The project will reduce air pollution, add energy efficiency and enhance refinery safety. It will also create 1,000 local construction jobs and pump millions of dollars into the Richmond and Bay Area economy.

Issue: A well-respected non-profit community service organization serving low-income and disabled populations in West Contra Costa County needed funding to continue their good work in job training and supportive employment.

Solution: Zell & Associates provided pro-bono consultation and direct advocacy to ensure that the organization received adequate budget allocations from various local funding agencies.

Success: Adequate funding was secured to ensure the continuation of these valuable programs.

Issue: Blake Griggs Properties, in partnership with BART, is developing a 600-unit mixed-use transit oriented apartment project in the City of Walnut Creek to meet local housing limits and improve quality of life, as well as encourage the use of public transit to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Solution: Zell & Associates implemented a public affairs strategy – using earned media, community advocacy and outreach, and advocacy with the City of Walnut Creek – to craft a plan that achieves the City, the community and the client's goals.

Success: The Walnut Creek Transit-Oriented Development Project was approved by the City of Walnut Creek in 2012.

Zell & Associates represents Comcast in Contra Costa County, providing strategic counseling and other assistance working with local government agencies on customer reliability, local franchises, and community and government relations.

Issue: The Contra Costa Transportation Authority needed to extend its existing half-cent sales tax to help address severe traffic congestion in the county. The measure required two-thirds voter approval. Substantial consensus from labor, environmental and business groups, transit and highway advocates, social justice groups and others were needed for the measure to be successful.

Solution: Zell & Associates developed a complex and sensitive strategy, utilizing its extensive political relationships to assist CCTA in developing substantial consensus on an expenditure plan of projects and programs that had the greatest chance of gaining voter approval.

Success: Measure J was passed by county voters, raising $1.6 billion to fund transportation projects over the next 25 years.