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How to Start a Petition

Do you ever hear of something happening in the world that you think is wrong?  Do you wonder what you can do about it?

Starting a petition is a great way to take action, stand up for what you believe in, and make sure your voice is heard.

Here are some steps to take when starting a petition:

1. Call your local government and ask them what guidelines and regulations exist around making a petition.  How many signatures do you need?  Does your petition need approval before you start to circulate it?  And remember, there is a different set of regulations for online petitions.

2. Find out who you’ll be sending your petition to.  Is this an issue with your local government?  Is it nation-wide?  Or is it a worldwide issue?  Paper petitions are more effective with local governments, but online petitions reach a broader audience.

3. Write down what your petition is about.  Keep it short and clear so people can read it and know what you’re asking them to support.

4. What is your request?  Write down what change you want to see happen.  Something like, “The people of Ottawa demand that the chemical plant stop dumping waste into the town lake.”

5. Create a plan around how you’re going to collect signatures.  Petitioning requires legwork.  Recruit people to help you and make a list of where you can go to collect the most amount of signatures.

6. You might need personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers, from everyone who signs your petition. Make it clear that you will not share their information with anyone.

And you’re all set to start!