Organizing a rally can be a highly effective advocacy tool. A rally can energize your members to work on advocacy activities. It can attract the press so that community members can become informed about our issues and positions. A rally is also an opportunity to be heard by legislators.
Here are some ideas for organizing a rally:
Decide on the purpose of the rally. What is your message?
Decide on a date, time and location. (Note items 3 and 4 below). Choices include the following:
a) Before or after school at a school field or park. Parents can bring their children to the rally without affecting class time. Students holding signs make great photo opportunities for the media.
b) Weekend morning at a school or park. Parents can bring their children in a relaxed atmosphere.
Obtain approval for the rally from your PTA and record in the minutes. This is necessary for insurance purposes.
Obtain any necessary permits from the school district or the city/town.
Invite speakers. Options include:
Local legislators or their staff
School Board Members
PTA Legislative Chair (good for a wrap-up)
Note: Speakers should talk for no more than three to four minutes to keep speeches brief.
Select a moderator, someone who can keep the rally on track.
Arrange for a high school band, or a few of its members, to play.
Invite the media, including television news stations, radio, and newspapers.
Publicize the rally to parents and the community.
Make signs. Include PTA’s logo when possible.
Hold a letter-writing campaign by providing sample letters for participants to sign.
Sign up new members at the rally. Be prepared for handling cash and bring membership cards.
Consider videotaping the event for PTA websites and other websites.
Let us know how it went.