Based on the feedback garnered over several months of our outreach, and given the highly politicized context in which our work was taking place, the team quickly agreed on the necessity that IDeA:ENY, which, let’s remind ourselves, stands for Identity Design Action had to be guerrilla style, not only visually speaking but in its messaging. Inspired by the impromptu banners at the May rally at Highland Park, which not only drew local interest groups but also similar tenant rights advocacy groups from other neighborhoods also threatened by rapid gentrification, we came up with a motto we felt could resonate with the small business constituency while offering a strong message on behalf of the entire community. “We Mean Business, ENY Unite to Stay.
While the campaign was being developed we met with small business in several strategic geographic points of East NY. The concept was then presented to a handful of them who had been identified and recommended by our stakeholders as potential small business ambassadors, as we call them. Fearing that our outsider fresh outlook would not always be accepted by a community under such scrutiny right now, we decided to rely on the strength and good will of individuals and create a new role for them to become the business representatives of the campaign. Often they had already been involved in the early incarnation of a merchant alliance and could spread the idea of our campaign and enroll others.