The Queen City’s Collective and Compassionate Approach: Fighting Opioids and Homelessness in the Granite State

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Arial view of New Hampshire


Elected at the height of the opioid epidemic, Mayor Joyce Craig came to represent the City of Manchester, New Hampshire, as it grappled with the dual tragedies of substance abuse and chronic homelessness. An idealist in a state that valued personal responsibility and financial restraint, Craig had successfully expanded her city’s services to those seeking treatment for opioid use disorder and shelter. But these were hard-fought victories at every stage, and there was still work to be done. With just a few months remaining in her first two-year term, the mayor found herself on the eve of another difficult negotiation. She had recently established a diverse Task Force on Homelessness and set her sights on permanently solving Manchester’s homelessness and opioid crises. Next, Craig had to convince her counterparts at the state and local level to dedicate equitable funding to solving these intractable, moral challenges. (See Teaching Case Appendix 1 for a timeline of events in the case.)

By examining Craig’s leadership style, her policy agenda, and the stakeholders she needed to engage,  participants can (i) discuss the varying sources of power a city leader can leverage, (ii) analyze the team’s approach and methodology in pursuing additional resources in New Hampshire, and (iii) apply these concepts to the conditions under which similar policy agendas become achievable or unachievable.

Learning Objectives

Analyze the complexity of a two-level negotiation between state and local stakeholders with different sources of power.

Evaluate barriers and opportunities in a two-level negotiation and understand how negotiators can leverage formal and informal sources of power to build coalitions and momentum.

This case can be used on its own or as part of a set. For more information on the rest of the materials in the set, click here.