Inter-organizational digital divide: Civic groups' media strategies in the Trinity River Corridor Project Page: 7
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debate, we applied all four methods of analysis to the two main groups: TrinityVote and Vote
No! Save the Trinity.
4.2. The pro- and anti-toll road groups
A number of local civic groups played critical roles in the run-up to the vote on Proposition One.
The group that was most central in the effort to stop the proposed toll road within the levees was
TrinityVote, while the organization that spearheaded opposition to Proposition One was Vote
No! Save the Trinity (VNST). We first provide an overview of the media and non-media tactics
used by each group based on our structured interviews with the groups' leaders and analysis of
Web pages and documents produced by and about each organization. Then we turn to the
networks of civic and business organizations that supported TrinityVote and VNST during the
run-up to Proposition One.
4.2.1. Trinity Vote
TrinityVote, founded by Dallas lawyer and councilperson Angela Hunt, was a grassroots
organization dedicated to building public support for the referendum that would have stopped the
toll road. The group was funded through donations, most of which came in the form of small
sums from local Dallasites, though there were a few large donors as well .
TrinityVote used very little new media. Angela Hunt ran the TrinityVote campaign with the help
of friends and family, and the group's Web site was designed and maintained by her husband.
The group used the Internet for verification of signatures on their referendum (cross-referencing
signatures with voter records), and for communicating with supporters about speaking
Although a political consultant was hired to handle communications and media, TrinityVote
relied mainly on over 100 volunteers who worked at calling stations, handed out yard signs, and
engaged in door-to-door campaigning. The group also relied on coverage by local newspapers,
as well as billboards, brochures, and postcards (interview with Angela Hunt, 2 February 2010).
They also used radio, having Angela Hunt give interviews on local radio talk shows. And
TrinityVote produced two local television commercials that mimicked an Apple Computer
commercial that was popular at the time. The group bought four billboard advertisements ,
and TrinityVote volunteers participated in phone banking when trying to get the 50,000
signatures needed to put Proposition One on the ballot.
According to a Google Blogs search, before the November 2007 vote on the proposition,
approximately 300 blogs either mentioned TrinityVote or hyperlinked to the group's home page.
Blogs that linked to TrinityVote include the blogs of the Young Sierrans (an informal sub-group
within the Dallas Sierra Club), Dallas Progress, Dallas Blog, Dallas South Blog, Dallas County
Young Democrats, Unfair Park, Mystic Bagel, and Back Talk East Dallas and Back Talk Lake
Highlands. A 28 September 2007 blog post by Mystic Bagel gives a sense of the tone of many of
these blogs, almost all of which were opposed to the proposed toll road within the levees:
I ordered a yard sign from TrinityVote yesterday. I will
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Ignatow, Gabriel & Schuett, Jessica Lynn. Inter-organizational digital divide: Civic groups' media strategies in the Trinity River Corridor Project, article, November 7, 2011; [Chicago, Illinois]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc78305/m1/7/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.