Lobbying RFQ





The Town of New Shoreham (the “Town”) is issuing this Request for Qualifications for the provision of lobbying and strategic consulting services to determine whether and on what basis to retain the services of a lobbyist or lobbying firm.


New Shoreham is a small island town located in the Atlantic Ocean, 12 miles from coastal Rhode Island, and has the distinction of being the smallest town in the smallest state. The town’s year-round population is approximately 1100 residents, increasing to 15,000 to 20,000 during the summer months.  The Island is famous for its miles of free public beaches, sparkling clear waters, dramatic bluffs, and preserved open spaces. The Nature Conservancy has designated Block Island "One of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere."


This is a time of great challenge and opportunity for the Town.  While we face fundamental structural challenges arising from our geographic isolation and small population, we have the nation’s first offshore wind farm, an ambitious municipally-owned and -financed broadband project underway, and a vibrant and diverse population of resilient and independent people.  The costs of providing basic infrastructure for our community, from housing and health care to education and roads, combined with the fiscal and policy challenges associated with moving the community forward with projects like the construction of the broadband network, are significant.  To enhance the well-being and economic security of the citizens of Block Island, the Town is seeking representation before the Legislative and Executive branches of state government as well as the federal government and its various agencies and the US Congress.


General Overview


Because of the number and range of issues the Town faces, we seek not only representation and advocacy, but strategic advice and a consultant with the willingness to learn in detail the needs of the town.  This knowledge and understanding must be combined with the sophistication necessary to recognize unforeseen opportunities for the town with the state and federal governments.  The firm selected should expect that the Town, through its Council and Town Manager, will provide guidance as to Town priorities at least annually, but the firm should be nimble enough to respond to the shifting needs of the community when necessary.  The firm selected would be expected to provide regular written and in-person updates to the Town Council, Town Manager and the community, and be a willing and patient partner in our engagement with state and federal governmental entities.









Scope of Services


The Consultant will work under the direction of the Town Manager and act as a liaison with state/federal government officials. This will be a three-year contract engagement and will include at least the following activities and tasks:


·         Research, prepare and lobby proposals desired by the Town;

·         Position the Town to maximize state and federal funding opportunities;

·         Promote the Town’s legislative proposals by communicating with state/federal and other governmental officials through personal contact, position papers, testimony and other such means as appropriate;

·         Monitor legislation, arrange for bill sponsorship, perform issue analysis and brief Town officials on legislative issues;

·         Assist in drafting legislation in support of the Town’s legislative priorities;

·         Prepare monthly informational reports and action calls during legislative sessions to inform the Town of the legislative process and status of Town proposals;

·         Perform other duties in relation to the Town’s intergovernmental relations, including counsel, attendance and testimony at intergovernmental meetings.


The Town understands that conflicts of interest can and do arise quickly and can be difficult to predict.  Firms responding to this Request should provide a list of all current clients.  The selected firm will be required to notify the Town immediately of any potential conflict of interest and will recognize that the town, in its sole discretion, will retain the authority to determine when a conflict is unacceptable to the Town.  The Town will endeavor to answer questions of conflict quickly.



Overview of the Process

This RFQ will be conducted pursuant to the following process:

·         After review and evaluation of the submittals received, staff will identify the most qualified firms and invite them to interview.

·         At the completion of the interview process the Town will refine the scope of services and request final offers from the most qualified firm or firms interviewed.


The Lobbyist/Consultant will be selected based on their experience, depth of network, and accomplishments for similar municipal and non-profit clients related to both legislative and grant initiatives. The final offer submittal will consist of two parts to be submitted at the same time. Qualitative information will be submitted and evaluated first, then cost. Costs will be submitted in a separate sealed envelope to be included with the submittal documents.




Submittal Requirements

Interested individuals/firms shall submit one (1) original, five (5) copies, and one (1) electronic version of proposal in pdf format, including a cover letter expressing their interest in providing these services to the Town of New Shoreham by December 3, 2021   to the following:  Maryanne Crawford, Town Manager, P.O. Box 220, Block Island, RI 02807.


Posted:  11/5/2021



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Town of New Shoreham | PO Box 220 | Block Island, RI 02807 | Telephone: (401)-466-3200 | Copyright © 2007