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anonymous Petition-Writing Advice May 14, 2006 11:32 AM

Have you written a petition(s) and would like to share advice on getting results? Then please post here and encourage others to promote their top causes.  [report anonymous abuse]
 
anonymous From The Petition Site - www.thepetitionsite.com June 02, 2006 6:48 PM

Petition Creation Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who can create a Petition?

    Anyone can create a petition. Anyone can create a petition. Once you have published your petition, people will be able to sign it right away. Popular petitions will be automatically promoted in their categories, and even on the PetitionSite.com home page!

    To create a petition, you must be logged into your Care2 account (Care2.com created and manages ThePetitionSite.com) so that you can access the suite of ThePetitionSite tools. Click here if you don't have a Care2 account. If you have signed a petition, a profile has already been created for you — retrieve your password.

  • How much does it cost to submit a petition?

    Nothing! Submitting a petition is free.

  • What petition topics are acceptable?

    ThePetitionSite.com is a non-partisan organization. We will accept petitions on any subject. However, we reserve the right to remove petitions found to be excessively offensive by our users or editorial staff.

  • When can I start collecting signatures?

    Immediately! Your petition will be "live" immediately after you create and publish it. You can start collecting signatures and promoting your petition within minutes. However, your petition will not be publicly listed on any PetitionSite category until it attains a certain number of signatures.

  • How can I let petition signers upload a photo?

    Photos add extra impact to let the petition target see that there is a real person behind the signature. This new feature is currently in beta testing. You will be given an option to enable this feature when creating a new petition. To enable it for an existing petition, visit the Signature Requirements page off of that petition's Dashboard, accessible from your My PetitionSite page.

  • What information can I collect from signers?

    You may ask signers for just about any information. Your petition's Dashboard, accessible from your My PetitionSite page, provides a link allowing you to manage and download petition signatures. However, we do not release email addresses or street addresses to petition authors. If the petition target requires this information for validation purposes, we may provide the information on a case by case basis. Bottom line: we don't want signers to receive unsolicited correspondence.

  • How long will my petition stay online?

    Petitions may be listed for as long as they continue to gather signatures. However, if a petition has not received at least 1,000 signatures within 4 months, it may be removed to make space for petitions with a larger backing.

  • How do I get started?

    Research! It takes work to create a good petition. Please make sure you have all the information you need before you start to fill in the form. It may not be possible to submit a petition which is missing key data. For a list of the information you'll be asked to submit, click here.

  • Where do I start?

    We recommend that you create an account at Care2.com before creating a petition. With a free Care2.com account, you will have access to tools allowing you to create signature reports and hide offensive signatures. Click here to create an account.

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anonymous http://www.thepetitionsite.com/form_fields.html June 02, 2006 6:51 PM

You will be asked for the following information to create a petition:

Petition Sponsor
Yourself, or the person/organization you represent.
  • Name
  • Organization Name (if applicable)
  • Valid email address (will not be made publicly available)
Petition Target
The target is the person or organization whose actions you seek to change, and who you will deliver your petition to.
  • Full Name of Individual
  • Title of Individual (e.g. Senator, CEO, Chairman)
  • Email Address
  • Name of Organization
  • URL of Organization
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State or Province
  • Zip or Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone Number
  • Fax Number
Petition Information
  • Petition Title
  • Category (see the Categories block, at the bottom-right of the PetitionSite.com home page, for a list of choices)
  • Start Date
  • Stop Date
  • State (if your petition applies to a single state)
  • Country (if your petition applies to a single country)
  • Signature Goal (number of signatures you'd like to collect)
  • URL for more information
  • Petition Summary (where you make your case to potential signers)
  • Petition Text (the actual petition or letter you intend to deliver to the target with the signatures you collect)
  • Thank You message (displayed after the person has signed — default text is provided)
  • Tell a Friend message (initial text used when the Tell a Friend feature is used for your petition — default text is provided)
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anonymous  June 02, 2006 6:52 PM

Spread the Word

The concept is simple: the more people you can send to read your petition, the more people will sign it and thus contribute to your cause.

In addition to promoting your petition on your own web pages, here are some ideas for encouraging people to visit and sign your petition:

  • e-mail a petition announcement to your friends and sympathizers
  • submit your petition page to major search engines
  • promote the petition in appropriate news groups, online forums, and discussion groups
  • add your petition's URL to your email footer, your website, and anywhere else you can think of to create links and drive traffic to your petition
  • contact the media, both online and offline, local and national (if appropriate), to generate coverage for your issue and petition
 [report anonymous abuse]
 
anonymous  June 08, 2006 5:18 PM

Letter Writing

Letters are excellent means to educate and persuade your member of Congress. A quality letter can make a significant impact. Writing at least 4-5 times per year is a good goal.

  •  Your views. Typewritten or neatly handwritten letters on personal stationary denote sincere, grassroots interest. Form letters, postcards or petitions do not receive the same attention.

  •  Be brief. Keep the letter short and sweet (1-2 pages) and focus on one subject. Discussing current legislation receives more attention than general observations.

  •  Identify the bill or issue. When possible, cite the bill number or legislation title. It is helpful to summarize the bill since hundreds of bills cross legislator's desks.

  •  State your purpose. Be clear what you're asking the congressperson to do (e.g. co- sponsor a bill).

  •  Give your reasons. Don't be afraid to make the letter personal. Explain how your experience, observations or Christian faith shapes your concerns. If appropriate, mention your MCC connection.

  •  Be constructive. Emotional outrage, "holier-than-thou" tones, or threats are more likely to generate an adverse reaction. Let your member know why you feel strongly, but try to be constructive and not merely critical.

  •  Ask a question. If you want more than a form letter response, raise a specific question. A well-stated question can express a viewpoint and, at the same time, stimulate a response.

  •  Say "well done." Thank your congressperson when they vote the right way or take a courageous stand. We should not forget, they are human too and appreciate encouragement.

  •  Group letter writing. Organizing a letter-writing campaign, so that a member of Congress receives a number of thoughtful and personalized letters on an issue, is a very effective use of the letter-writing tool. Creativity, such as writing a hunger letter on a paper plate, underscores your message and makes the letter more noticeable. If people are less motivated to write their own letters, having one letter with many people signing-on (with their names and addresses) is a second choice option.

http://www.mcc.org/us/washington/advocacy.html

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anonymous  June 11, 2006 7:09 AM

Petitions allow any of us to be heard and to stand up against or for causes or issues that are important to us. The usual scenario is that someone gets fired up about a particular wrong the needs to be righted or to rail against some ordinance or other legislation that is unfair, or maybe even ridiculous. You put together a well-crafted petition to let everyone, especially the powers that be, know that you are not going to take this situation sitting down.

You are going to stand up, petition in hand or in your computer. Now what? Who will know or care, or most importantly, sign up to help you voice your position and maybe even get things changed? The answer depends on what you do to get your petition noticed. It needs to be noticed; otherwise it cannot serve your purpose. There are some things you must do if your petition is to get the attention it deserves.

Most important, make sure your petition is put together properly. By this I mean that it has to be self-explanatory so that people know at a glance what you are attempting to accomplish. Be sure that each of your petition forms states the following:

•  Who you are sending the petition to and the role they have in helping or hindering your cause. Make sure that person has the power or the contacts to meet your demands.

•  Be sure to be clear about what are you trying to accomplish. State a purpose or specific goal that make it clear what the issue is and what you want done about it.

•  Be specific about what you want, when you want it, and what you want the petitioner to do.

•  Proofread and spell check your petition and any supporting documents describing the issue

•  Have copies of the petition and supporting data with you at all time.

•  Approach everyone you meet as a potential supporter of your petition.

•  Attend public events where large crowds gather. Don't forget to get permission to be on the premises.

At the same time you are following these suggestions you must in this age of the Internet create and maintain an online presence.

•  Email your friends and family and send them the link to your petition.

•  Set up a website for your petition ? There are many ?free' websites you can use for this purpose. Simply go to your favorite search engine and use the search term ?free web hosting.'

•  Use Search Engines to find other people who are interested in your cause.  Ask them to sign your petition and ask if they will include your link on their websites.

•  Join User Groups or Chat Boards concerning your topic. Spread the word on those forums.

•  Submit your link to search engines manually or use one of the ?free submission services' you can find in any search engine.

 

Don't be afraid to be creative. You are the key ingredient to your petition's success. Do some brainstorming and I am sure you will think of other ways to publicize your petition. Here's to your success.

http://www.petitionspot.com/tricks_pet.php

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anonymous  June 11, 2006 7:10 AM

http://www.petitionspot.com/write_pet.php

Most of us, at one point or another, have been frustrated or angry to point of wanting to take action. This is especially true in cases where the situation is unfair and unbalanced in the impact it has on certain groups of people. Generally, these situations whether they be public policy, local restrictions or a matter of state or federal law are generally thought to be a done deal and not changeable; at least not by just an ordinary individual. True, many people do adopt the ?you can't fight city hall' position, but other individuals and groups, now and in the past have chosen to take action. A very effective method of expressing one's position on issues we don't agree with is to write a petition.

A petition is a request made to an authority, usually a government official or public governmental body. Generally, a petition is a document addressed to some public official and signed by many individuals. You many be surprised to learn that a petition may be oral rather or written. Currently, petitions are routinely transmitted via the Internet. The term ?petition' has a specific meaning in the legal profession as a request, directed to a court or administrative committee, seeking some sort of relief such as a court order.

The p etition itself is made up of a statement of your position and a collection of signatures for persons who support your position or campaign. Depending on the nature of your protest or request for change or amendment you may need to meet a specific requirement in terms of the number of signatures required. This is especially true in matter related to political campaigns and other politically charged situations.

Whatever the reason you choose to start a petition, and whether it is done in person or online there are some generally accepted guidelines that should be followed. Following these guidelines will greatly increase your chances for a successful petition process.

Guidelines For A Success Petition:

1) Use a header to explain the reason for the petition

2) Be able explain the background of the situation in one or two concise sentences.

3) State precisely what you want to done and how the action is to be carried out

4) Indicate where and to whom you are going to send the petition

5) Collect the name, address and signature of people who agree with you.

6) Number the forms and number each line of the form so that you can easily tell how many signatures you have collected.

7) Recruit volunteers to get signatures for the petition

8) Plan your strategy to ensure your petitions is seen by as many people as possible

 [report anonymous abuse]
 
anonymous WHY WRITE A PETITION? June 11, 2006 7:11 AM

The reason people write petitions are too great to number since the motivation behind the petition could be anything from wanting to save the whales or wanting to destroy a political enemy. Then there are those done just to voice and strong opinion or simply to be an annoyance to an enemy. However, the overwhelming majority of petitions appear to be well intentioned. At least historically that has been the case.

What does history have to do with it you might ask? History really has very much to do with the fact that in most democratic nations citizens have the right to petition. Historically, a petition was a written request stating a grievance and requesting relief from a ruling authority such as a king. In modern America, petitioning includes a range of communicative activities designed to influence public officials through legal, nonviolent means. The right to petition reaches back at least to the Magna Carta in 1215. The English Declaration of Rights in 1689 confirmed that subjects were entitled to petition the king without fear of prosecution.

As a matter of fact The U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the petition clause of the First Amendment as part of the 14th Amendment's guarantees against the states. The petition clause applies equally to state and local governments and protects petitions directed to the judicial, executive and legislative branches.

From the early days until now, citizens have used their right to petition to get their voices heard, often loud and clear on a myriad of issues. Among the reasons people start petitions are the following:

•  To address grievances or to respond to some perceived wrongdoing. Generally, a petition is the last resort when other efforts to resolve the situation have proven to be fruitless;

•  As a means of social action. All you have to do you is read history, particularly U.S. history, as it is replete with instances when citizens built a case for change by proving they had the support of a significant number of people. Among the social action movements involving thousands of petitions to the powers that be are the anti-slavery movement, the anti-lynching legislation, the so-called robber baron movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Suffrage Movement, and many, many others;

•  To bring about political change or to bring attention to corruption, especially as it relates to getting officials to take action against their colleagues;

•  To right wrongs carried out without the full knowledge of the persons most directly impacted. You often see this when elected officials switch their agenda once that get elected, ignoring the desires of those who elected him/her to office;

•  To open the public's eyes to hypocrisy and double-dealing on the part of those entrusted to act in their behalf;

•  To change laws, rulings and ordinances that are outdated and/or burdensome with little benefit to today's society;

•  To speak to and/or against the policies of colleges and universities;

•  To request a change of classes or grades in academic settings;

•  To get permission to have exceptions made in long-standing institutional policies;

•  To be heard, to make known one's displeasure and to prove that others hold the same opinion and have the right to be heard and considered, even when in the minority;

Undoubtedly, you could add your own reasons to this list because the reasons for petitions are as varied as the personalities of those who insist it is a necessary right in free society. The bottom line is, with rare exception, petitions are a valid means of expression for individuals who wish to be heard on a particular issue. What is your cause? What makes you angry? What needs to be changed to make things better, more equitable or fair? Maybe it is your turn to start a petition.

http://www.petitionspot.com/why_write_pet.php

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anonymous http://www.gopetition.com/howtowriteapetition.php July 29, 2006 3:05 PM

Proper research


A petition should begin with a request, followed by well researched reasons for making the request. Each petition should provide a description of relevant circumstances and links to documentation or facts that support that description. Moreover, a petition should contain information that suggests its request is feasible.

Clear and concise communication


Don't clutter your petition with information or requests that have no essential connection to the main message. Read over your petition carefully. Make sure it:

(1) describes the situation,
(2) suggests what is needed, and
(3) explains why it is needed.

Be clear and concise with your message.


There are many examples of excellent and well written petitions at gopetition.com, so we suggest that you read some of the more popular petitions and use these as templates before you create a petition.

 [report anonymous abuse]
 
anonymous  August 20, 2006 2:27 PM

I have been reading some online petitions and am amazed at the petition letter language.

When writing formal letters, try not to use so many contractions - ie. can't (cannot) shouldn't (should not) wouldn't (would not) etc...

Just be reducing or elminating your contractions, you can make the letter appear formal.

AND... many people have simple grammar errors. Have someone proof-read your letters and do not rely on just spell & grammar check programs. Although great, these programs do not catch every error.

Holly

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