Whether you are a seasoned activist or a first-time organizer, here is a simple guide to get you started. Go through the steps one by one, and you’ll be on your way to planning a creative, engaging, and powerful action in your community.
1) Choose an Action and Location
Part of what makes days of action so powerful is the variety and creativity of actions organized across different regions. Some common action ideas include organizing a walk or march through your town or city, a prayer vigil with your faith group and maybe other faith groups in your area, a rally with speakers and music in your central plaza, a potluck, or a community discussion. Some actions’ uniqueness will simply be their locations – is there a place to hold your rally that is particularly important to your community, or symbolic of the damage that predatory gambling has left behind?
Whatever your action, be sure to think about the best photo opportunity to capture your action and everyone who attends – photos are the primary way we link up actions across the country and tell our story.
2) Gather With Friends and Neighbors
Invite your friends, neighbors, and local organizations to assist in sponsoring and organizing the action. Think outside the box about who to reach out to.
3) Work Out the Details
Take care of logistical details as soon as you can (this is why you want friends to help you out). Important things to consider include the timing of the action, directions, transportation, bathrooms, sound system, permits for use of public spaces, sponsorships, etc.
4) Invite Government Officials
If we want our actions to have as big an impact as possible, it’s essential that we reach out to our local, regional, and national leaders. Invite your local mayor, governor and state legislators. You never know who might be willing to show up and be a champion to stop predatory gambling.
5) Spread the Word
Send out emails, post on social media, write editorials for local newspapers, get on the local radio station, ask organizations to include the action information in newsletters and bulletins, etc.
6) Make a Banner
Each action should have a banner, or some way to communicate their support to stop predatory gambling. We strongly everyone to make their own banner. Just make sure it’s large and legible.
7) Tell the Media
It’s important to contact local, state, and national media to make sure they report on actions to stop predatory gambling in your area. Think about what print, radio, television, and blogs you’d want to have cover your event, and start getting in touch with them now.
8) Take Action
The details of your action are up to you, but at some point be sure to take a picture with everyone present with your banner to stop predatory gambling displayed prominently.
9) Report Back
As soon as your action is over, be sure to select your best photo and send it to email@example.com. You might want to designate a volunteer to help with this. This is important because we need your picture to be able to deliver the strongest possible message to the media and to the nation’s decision-makers. Video footage and written stories from your action are great too, but photos are the top priority.