Culture, Current Events, Life

How to Initiate Political Activism Through Petitions


If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. former President Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama in his farewell speech said this referring to mobilizing political activism. On Saturday the 21st of January 2017, Americans witnessed one of the largest organized marches ever in history demanding women’s rights and bringing awareness to inequality in policies towards gender and race among others. Whether you are disgruntled about policies set forth at the highest office in government or within your company or educational institution you have the right to bring to light your dissatisfaction via peaceful, organized protests or expansive petitions expressing your disapproval. When spreading political activism through petitions, the more people you get to sign the petitions the louder your concerns will be heard. Here are some suggestions for organizing and gathering signatures for your petition.

Make the Objective Clear

Whatever your cause may be, it is important to capture the attention of your supporter. A well targeted attractive headline will be useful in persuading a potential signee for your petition. Make your statements concise and to the point. You want people to understand the issue quickly and want to participate with you in accomplishing your goal. 

Exhaust All Advertising Avenues 

Make sure you reach as many people as you can who are affected by the cause you are fighting for. Advertise your petition on all your social network channels giving links to your electronic petition document. Use traditional advertising methods like local newspapers, radio stations, and hanging flyers.

Pick Favorable Locations

The goal is to get as many signatures on your petition as possible. Select locations that have the most foot traffic. For example, if your petition involves changing some policy at your university, the entrance to the cafeteria or the library will be ideal locations to spread the word about your cause.

Essential Things to Bring

On the day you go out to collect signatures, the following items are essential. First, make sure you have more than enough petitions. Take plenty of clipboards and pens. Anyone who is even slightly interested in signing your petition might keep walking if you do not have the essential material at the ready. Since you might be doing a lot of walking, wear comfortable shoes and have some refreshments with you or close by. 

Make the Experience Enjoyable 

With your ultimate goal as your focus, make the experience of gathering petition signatures fun. Get some assistance from your friends. If you are going out to get signatures as part of organizations, group friends together for different locations where you are gathering signatures. Come up with initiating questions or ice breakers that may work in your favor when approaching a signee. Make the conversation pleasant and respectful. Use humor appropriately if it makes the interaction more comfortable.

Submit to the Right Authority

When you are ready to submit your petitions make sure to pick the right authority to voice your concerns. Depending on what your circumstances for the petition are, bring it to the person who is best fit to facilitate change. This person might not be at the top of the hierarchy of the organization. Single out the person or persons that will further your cause and expedite awareness of your concerns along the chain of command. 

There are online organizations that can disseminate your petitions to reach a larger audience. Contingent upon your goals, websites such as,, and the Action Alert Network can be very resourceful. Take advantage of any available means to bring awareness to your cause.

When you want to change something for the betterment of your community, get as many people as you can involved in the cause. Signed petitions are a way to mobilize political activism. Congregating with other people to collectively speak out for a cause is a positive way to bring about change.


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