SKDK Statement In Response to Supreme Court Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. – Today, SKDK, a leading progressive communications and political consulting firm issued the following statement in response to the majority opinion from the Supreme Court to strike down Roe v. Wade:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to up-end our society by rolling back a 50-year right to an abortion is both wrongheaded and at odds with public opinion. Across both sides of the aisle, a majority of voters support keeping abortion safe and legal. We are committed to continuing our work to elect pro-choice Democrats and to support organizations fighting on the frontlines to defend women’s reproductive health. In addition, we pledge to ensure that all employees at SKDK and their families have access to legal abortion care by covering the cost of travel if they live in a state that restricts their access.”

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. SKDK has won the Holmes Report’s influential North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year multiple times and was recently listed by the Observer’s as one of the best public relations firms in America for 2022.

To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com. SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding company,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

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SKDK Statement In Response to Draft Supreme Court Opinion Reversing Roe v Wade

Public Affairs Firm Reaffirms Commitment to Helping Clients Fight Anticipated Decision

New York, NY – Today, SKDK, a leading progressive communications and political consulting firm issued the following statement in response to a draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court intending to strike down Roe v. Wade:

“Like the majority of Americans who support access to safe and legal abortion, all of us at SKDK were horrified to read the Supreme Court of the United States’ draft opinion striking down Roe last night. The right to abortion has spanned generations, allowed women to participate equally and fully, and underpins many other rights and freedoms. We are proud to have championed this right at the local, state and federal level. This work matters now more than ever, and SKDK is ready to continue this fight at the Supreme Court, in State Houses, in City Halls and on the ballot in November.”

About SKDK

SKDK is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue or winning an election.

In 2020, SKDK was a key advisor to the Biden for President campaign and helped to make history by electing Joe Biden as President of The United States and Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black, Asian-American and first woman, as Vice President. SKDK has won the Holmes Report’s influential North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year multiple times and was recently listed by the Observer’s as one of the best public relations firms in America for 2022.

To learn more about SKDK, visit our website at www.skdknick.com. SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding company,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

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SKDK CELEBRATES THREE TOP PR AWARDS HONOREES AMONG ITS TALENT ROSTER

WASHINGTON D.C. – SKDK congratulates three team members who were recently awarded top honors for their work in public relations. Senior Vice President Rae Robinson Trotman was named one of 2020’s Top Women in PR by PRNEWS, Senior Vice President Derrick Plummer was named to PR Week’s 2020 40 Under 40 list and Director Julia Schechter was named to PRNEWS’ 2020 Rising Stars 30 & Under list.

These coveted industry recognitions follow the trio’s communications work across a range of clients. Robinson Trotman leads the firm’s Multicultural Communications and Engagement Practice. Plummer led war room efforts for the United Auto Workers during its strike against General Motors and Schechter works with the Times Up Legal Defense Fund leading PR support for sexual harassment and assault survivors.

“SKDK is so proud of our colleagues. Their commitment to our clients and intense demand for accountability and justice represent the best of our profession” said SKDK Vice Chair Hilary Rosen. “Without a doubt, they are deserving of the highest honors in our field. At SKDK, we have the most effective leaders in Public Affairs and they make a difference every day”.

About SKDKnickerbocker: SKDKnickerbocker (SKDK) is a top national communications and political consulting firm bringing unparalleled strategic communications experience to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations and labor unions, as well as political committees and candidates. With offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Albany, SKDK offers strategic support to managing a crisis, protecting a brand, advocating an issue or winning an election. The influential Holmes Report once again named SKDK as the North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in 2019, following wins in 2015, 2016, and 2018.

SKDK is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies who are out to “reinvent the holding company,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Stagwell Group portfolio includes more than a dozen best-in-class, digital-first agencies who are focused on what modern CMOs need. Learn more about Stagwell at www.stagwellgroup.com.

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The Atlantic: The Mastermind Behind Biden’s No-Drama Approach to Trump

Edward-Isaac Dovere, 11/30/20 – “Maybe Dunn deserves a bit more attention, though. She made history of her own with Biden’s election, becoming the only person in modern presidential politics who has been in the inner circle of two winning candidates—first Barack Obama’s and now Biden’s. Most top operatives who have helped elect presidents retire from advising candidates and cash out, figuring there’s not much point to playing anymore once they’ve won the Super Bowl.”

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PR Week: Biden campaign’s Anita Dunn heads back to SKDK

Diana Bradley, 11/12/20 – WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign adviser Anita Dunn is heading back to SKDKnickerbocker’s team post-election.

Dunn joined the Biden team in its very early stages.

“I started working with the campaign before President-elect Biden announced,” she said. “It was not a full-time role. I served as senior adviser on part of his strategy team as he went through the decision-making process. After he announced, I remained at the agency, though on an increasingly limited basis through August 1, when I took a full leave from SKDK.”

Dunn said she helped with debate preparation and message coordination, in particular with SKDK. The agency developed the Biden campaign’s vote-by-mail program in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, it said in a statement.

Dunn noted that direct mail continues to be an important channel for campaigns, especially in this election marked by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Once the challenge of COVID-19 began in March, direct mail assumed an even more critical function because of the need to tell people how to vote,” she explained. “This is the only campaign I can think of that spent this much money in terms of broadcast, digital and direct mail talking about not only why people should vote but how to do it because of early voting in part and ensuring people knew the dates for when to get ballots and to return them. I think the comms challenge in 2020 was enormous.”

Dunn has a long history of working on Democratic campaigns, including an internship with former President Jimmy Carter’s unsuccessful 1980 re-election run and a senior staff role during President Barack Obama’s 2008 push.

But this one was different, she said.

“This campaign had all the aspects of the best campaigns,” Dunn said. “The candidate knew why he was running and the staff knew how to amplify the message… [but] it was a campaign unlike any I have ever worked on. It didn’t have the exhilaration of 2008 but it had the urgency of 2020.”

While the pandemic placed restrictions on the kind of events Biden could hold, Dunn said President Donald Trump’s overpowering media presence unintentionally evened the playing field.

“It was not a bad thing to have Donald Trump out there as much as he was because it was making the election a referendum on his failed leadership. That’s how you beat incumbents,” Dunn explained.

Nearly all major media organizations called the race for Biden on Saturday after he passed the Electoral College’s winning threshold of 270 votes. Trump has not conceded and has contended both in person and on Twitter that he won the race.

Dunn said she’ll continue to work with the Biden organization throughout the transition but will also move back to agency life, though she probably won’t do any election campaigns.

“[I’ll] slowly ease my way back into the agency,” she said. “I had not been doing political campaigns. My practice had been focused on advocacy for nonprofits and I did have some private sector clients. I will return to doing work I love; helping people with good causes effect change.”

Though Dunn has made that promise before. “After the 2008 campaign, I said I was done,” she said. “But this time I mean it.”

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POLITICO Playbook – WEST WING WATCH: ANITA DUNN

POLITICOANITA DUNN, who served as a senior adviser and strategist for BIDEN, is returning to SKDK as a partner. She is expected to rejoin the firm in the next few weeks. In addition to Dunn, the firm’s managing director GREG MINOFF led the Biden campaign’s direct mail and vote-by-mail program in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. The firm also worked with the NAACP and AFL-CIO and the #WeHaveHerBack and #VoteForHer campaigns.

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SKDK Congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Firm looks forward to welcoming back partner Anita Dunn after her successful work as campaign’s senior adviser

WASHINGTON D.C. — SKDK congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their historic victory. We applaud the entire Biden-Harris Campaign team for their dedication and perseverance – and are especially proud of the role our partner Anita Dunn played in serving as senior adviser and strategist, helping to lead the campaign to a come-from-behind primary win and laying the groundwork for this historic victory. We look forward to her return to the firm in the coming weeks.

In addition to Anita’s contributions, Managing Director Greg Minoff led the Biden campaign’s direct mail program and his team developed the vote-by-mail program in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona – all critical states that led to the campaign’s success.

We also applaud the NAACP, under the great leadership of President and CEO Derrick Johnson, for its massive voter engagement campaign, which was instrumental in boosting Black turnout in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and elsewhere. It was an honor to support the country’s premier civil rights organization in such a historic effort.

And we were proud to partner with the AFL-CIO, whose labor movement represents the workers making up what President-Elect Biden rightly calls the “the backbone of the nation.”

While ballots are still being counted all across the country, we want to congratulate our clients who won hard-fought victories on Tuesday: Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), who fended off millions of outside spending to get re-elected; North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who won the most contested Governor’s race in the country; and Congresswoman-elect Sara Jacobs (CA-53), who will be California’s youngest Member of Congress.

Additionally, the SKDK public affairs team led the creation and execution of the #WeHaveHerBack campaign to defend Kamala Harris against racist and sexist stereotypes in the media and the #VoteForHer campaign to promote our new Vice President-Elect’s historic candidacy.

We also congratulate the following SKDK clients on their successful elections: Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Rep. Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Don Beyer (VA-8), Hamilton County, OH Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, and Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. 

We were honored to work with organizations across the country who helped pass paid family leave in Colorado and elect and re-elect Rep. Peter Defazio (OR-4), Illinois State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, Illinois State Rep. Joyce Mason, Illinois State Rep.-Elect Janet Yang-Rohr, New Mexico State Rep. Melanie Ann Stansbury, New Mexico State Senator Katy Duhigg, Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener, Texas State Rep. Ann Johnson, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, and Honolulu City Councilwoman Esther Kiaʻāina.

In 2017, Politico called SKDK “the loyal opposition where powerful Democrats plot the anti-Trump agenda.” The Holmes Report dubbed the firm “the hub of the resistance.” Beginning with our efforts to oppose the Muslim Ban in the first week of the Trump presidency, SKDK stood strongly against systemic cultural and societal inequalities as the administration rolled back protections for millions of Americans.

SKDK ran media campaigns to defend Americans’ access to affordable healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, save the DACA program to protect 700,000 immigrant youth from deportation, push for climate change legislation, elevate government whistleblowers’ voices and protect them from retribution, empower sexual assault survivors in the courtroom, and call for police accountability. SKDK’s also helped clients communicate to Black, Latino, LGBTQ, Indigenous, AAPI and other diverse communities.

During the 2020 election, SKDK was honored to work with AFSCME, Beyond Carbon, Be Change Now, EMILY’s List, the DCCC, Demand Justice, Priorities USA PAC, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, Independence USA, Senate Majority PAC, Supermajority, and the Campaign to Abolish the Electoral College. Each of these organizations and their staffs fought their hearts out for the issues they care about – and we congratulate them for their hard work and dedication to this country. We look forward to continuing our values-based work in the years to come.

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SKDK Hispanic Heritage Month Statement

For more than five decades, Hispanic Heritage Month has been a moment to celebrate, and most importantly learn, about America’s Hispanic heritage that goes back more than 450 years. In fact, large parts of the United States once belonged to our indigenous ancestors, followed by Spain and Mexico. The influence of Hispanic, Indigenous, and African cultures and languages remains omnipresent in these regions, from their names to their vibrant traditions. 

While many Americans this month safely celebrate the beauty, diversity, and vast contributions of the Latino community, this year Hispanic Heritage Month feels different and more consequential. In the middle of a global pandemic and recession, which hit the Latino community disproportionately hard, and weeks away from one of the most critical elections in modern history, the irony of celebrating Latino heritage when the community’s basic human and constitutional rights are being attacked has not been lost on us.  

This month, thousands of Hispanics across the country will put on their walking shoes to register voters, spend hours phone banking, drive people to early voting locations, rally around loved ones sick with COVID-19, and lend a helping hand to those struggling emotionally and financially through the pandemic. While many Americans are able to stay at home and quarantine, the country’s millions of Latino essential workers risk their health, and that of their families, every day to make that possible and keep the country running. 

The essence of being Hispanic, this month and beyond, is to be a contributor. It means working hard in the face of adversity and helping others along the way. It means honoring the immigrant, even if the U.S. border crossed thousands of Latino families’ land centuries ago. It means fighting against racism and oppression, even when it comes to something as simple as voting. It means keeping faith, whether that means honoring God, family or community, and knowing that if we fight today, tomorrow will be better.  

It is our hope that this Hispanic Heritage Month, you take time to learn about the historically hard path Latinos have walked in this country and the many current challenges for the most vulnerable. Hispanics were here before there was a United States and helped build this country into the global success story it is today. We hope this month you celebrate and respect Latino immigrants’ contributions to the American economy and culture and share in their gratitude and love for this country. And we also hope that you learn from the Hispanic community’s boundless tenacity of hope, as this community not only looks to a better future but works hard for one.

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City and State’s 2013 Albany Rising Stars: Jessica Bassett

Jessica Bassett was the last person standing in Gov. David Paterson’s press shop. Elevated to acting director of communications in the fall of 2010, she survived to his final day in office, grappling with contentious issues until the end.

“Someone had to take press calls on the last day of government,” Bassett explained.

Bassett’s rise to become the governor’s top spokesperson was meteoric. Soon after graduating from college, she got her first job in politics in her native Plattsburgh: deputy North Country regional representative for Gov. Spitzer. After Spitzer resigned, Bassett became an upstate advance person for Paterson, then moved over to the press office.

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SKDKnickerbocker recognized by the State of Politics for Pollie Wins

SKDKnickerbocker received 10 Pollie awards from the American Association of Political Consultants, including gold in “Overall Television Campaign for a Ballot Initiative and Referendum” for the Washington United for Marriage TV campaign produced by Jennifer Cunningham.

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