The Petition Question
To Petition or Not to Petition?
We have quite a few chapters now and have learned a lot with our petitions. Basically, an online petition, while useful and convenient, in itself, does not ensure change. However, petitions are a handy way to connect with people about the issue of school starts, generate media attention and cultivate a group of advocates that are interested and passionate about the cause.
We've narrowed down our picks to three options: MoveOn.org, Action Networks and Google Docs.
MoveOn.org is far superior compared to Change.org or any others because it is easy to use, clearly shows petition signers and their comments and is well recognized in advocacy. You can also download petition signer names and contact your petition signers by geographic area, which is also very helpful. Of all the free online petition sites, MoveOn.org provides the best experience, hands down.
With free tools, while there is no money changing hands and it is readily available, there are other ways users have to pay. MoveOn.org is affiliated with a liberal political agenda, which may appear to create a partisanship. Also, signers will receive solicitations to donate to MoveOn.org and to sign other petitions created with MoveOn.org. Users are free to opt out of these solicitations or ignore these requests without losing functionality. Some may view this as the cost of doing business, while others may view this as intrusive.
Action Network is another grassroots activist platform that provides free tools for smaller efforts.
As a result, we believe a second homegrown option is emerging as potentially useful, Google Forms.
To summarize, we've put together a list of pros and cons, so you can decide which platform works best for you.
MoveOn.org or Action Network
Every local chapter has different needs, so ultimately, the decision on which platform to use is yours. It really depends on which pros and cons have the highest importance for you. In either case, Start School Later will promote your petition and help circulate it through our established social media networks.
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