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Hi David,

The team at New Harbor often hears me reference the great David Ogilvy’s ten classic rules for writing, which I have shared with everyone who has ever worked here.

All ten rules are right on point, but Ogilvy’s full-frontal assault on legalese and jargon in Rule No. 4 may be my favorite:

“Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are the hallmarks of a pretentious ass.”

And not just that – language like this will probably lead the reader (or listener) to conclude “Yeah, they’re not talking to me.” And you’ve lost them.

Jargon and legalese can be deadly when communicating with neighbors, and other interested parties, about new projects – large and small – in the community. These days, folks can quickly default to the “NIMBY No” when presented with something new. Communications focused on merely checking the box, instead of answering the questions an actual human being might have, pushes them away further.

We’ve had success over the years with controversial projects, winning some tough ones along the way. A key part of our approach is a basic Q&A where we follow Ogilvy’s third rule: “Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.”

A good example is the Q&A we’ve put together for the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad on Cape Cod, currently confronted with an ill-advised, starry-eyed campaign to pull up the tracks in Falmouth and Bourne to make way for a bike path. (Narrator: We can have both…). You can read it here.

As an attorney, I can throw around a little Latin with the best of them – most of it from my days as an altar boy at St. Greg’s in Warwick (but who’s asking). Bottom line – whether it’s communicating with neighbors about new projects, or just human beings in general, Ogilvy’s rules are a good guide, starting with Rule No. 1: “Write the way you talk. Naturally.”

The Latest!

Local Scouts Launch Campaign to Reach New Families


Nearly 400 New Scouts Have Joined - and Counting!

The Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America's annual Fall recruitment campaign is underway! New Harbor’s 25-year partnership with the Scouts has consistently and effectively showcased the opportunities Scouting has to offer to new families across Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Southeastern Connecticut.

This year’s recruitment campaign featured an in-person Council wide event, the first-ever Join Scouting Day, where families met with local Cub Packs and Scout Troops and could sign up on the spot. 376 new Scouts and their families joined Scouting following the September 23rd event.

We worked with the Scouts to reach an even wider audience with a mix of social media and digital advertisements, email blasts and direct mail, maximizing exposure and awareness across three states. So far, the digital campaign has reached over 200,000 people and counting!

More information on how to join the fun in Scouting can be found at beascout.org.

Women's Development Corporation Unveils

40 Affordable Homes for Families in Exeter

Pine View Apartments resident Ayah Shakir is joined by R.I. General Treasurer James Diossa, Secretary of State Gregg Amore, Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor, U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, RIHousing Executive Director Carol Ventura, LISC Senior Programming Officer Jay O'Grady, WDC Executive Director Frank Shea, National Equity Fund Managing Director Tony Lyons and the Town of Exeter’s Director of Social Services Jessica Demartino to cut the ribbon on the new affordable housing complex.

The Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) cut the ribbon recently on 40 fully leased, one- and two-bedroom affordable homes at the Pine View Apartments in Exeter. The new neighborhood helped the Town of Exeter reach Rhode Island’s 10% affordable housing goal, one of only a few communities in the state to do so.

WDC provides housing and support services to over 2,500 Rhode Islanders annually. The Pine View Apartments are just the latest example of WDC’s proven ability to successfully partner with local and state government, and communities to address the critical need for affordable housing in Rhode Island.

The Providence Journal

40-unit affordable complex puts Exeter above state's 10% affordable threshold


State leaders hold ribbon cutting ceremony for affordable housing community on Exeter

Worcester Community Housing Resources is

Creating Housing Opportunities

Worcester Community Housing Resources (WCHR) has nearly 30 years of experience in housing development and community lending that helps low-income residents access stable housing.

In the last month, WCHR announced both the acquisition of an underutilized hotel, and their partnership with the City of Worcester to lead a new Down Payment Assistance Program for first time home buyers.

The acquisition will lead to the conversion of the former hotel into 90 units of permanent supportive housing. Construction is slated to start in early 2024.

Meanwhile, with WCHR at the helm, the City of Worcester’s new Down Payment Assistance Program will provide as much as $25,000 to eligible first-time homebuyers to cover up to 3.5% of down payment and closing costs.

Worcester Business Journal

Worcester to give assistance to landlords and homebuyers in new $2M affordable housing programs

Mass Live

Worcester launches programs to aid first-time home buyers, preserve affordable rents

Worcester Business Journal

Worcester hotel slated for supportive housing project sold for $10.8M

Mass Live

Worcester hotel being converted into housing for the homeless is sold

Worcester Telegram

Worcester Quality Inn sold, to become affordable housing for homeless

Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium Launches International Challenge

The Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium (UTIC) has launched its inaugural “UTIC Challenge” to gather innovative workforce development strategies from academic institutions in Australia, the UK, and the US - the three nations participating in the AUKUS agreement.

“UTIC looks forward to collaborating with academic innovators to foster sustainable growth in the undersea technology workforce,” said Molly Donohue Magee, UTIC executive director.

Each winning team will receive a $15,000 award to be used for scholarships or similar academic program investments in related fields.

Providence Business First

RI blue tech consortium aims to build AUKUS workforce


Follow UTIC on Twitter and LinkedIn

RIPEC Gains National Recognition for Small Business Tax Reform Initiative

Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) was recently recognized for their successful efforts to achieve tangible tax reform by the Governmental Research Association, a national group of public policy, governmental, and civic research organizations. The RIPEC team was awarded the 2023 Outstanding Policy Achievement award for working with elected leaders to develop and refine a proposal for a statewide tangible property tax exemption for small business.


Government and business had long recognized the negative impacts of the tax, but RIPEC’s analysis—which determined that broad tax relief for businesses could be provided for a relatively small reduction in revenue—was crucial to determining a path forward. Congratulations!