How to Organize a Local Rally

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 (note that you can select all or just a few from the list).

  1. Decide on the purpose of the rally. What is your message?
  2. Decide on a date, time and location. (Note items 3 and 4 below). Choices include the following:
    a. Lunchtime at an elementary school. Parents can bring their children to the rally from recess without affecting class time, and elementary-aged children holding signs make great photo opportunities for the media.
    b. Saturday morning at a school or park. Parents can bring their children in a relaxed atmosphere.
    c. After school at a school field or park.
  3. Obtain approval for the rally by your PTA and record in the minutes (necessary for insurance).
  4. Obtain any necessary permits from the school district or the city/town.
  5. Invite speakers. Options include:
    a. PTA president
    b. Local legislators or their staff
    c. School superintendent
    d. School board members
    e. Teachers
    f. High school students
    g. PTA legislative chairman (good for wrap-up)
    Note: Ask each speaker to talk for no more than three to four minutes to keep speeches brief.
  6. Select a moderator, someone who can keep the rally on track.
  7. Arrange for a high school band, or a few of its members, to play.
  8. Invite the press, including TV news stations, radio, newspapers.
  9. Publicize the rally to parents and the community.
  10. Make signs.
    a. Download a PTA advocacy logo or make hand-painted signs.
    b. Affix to paint sticks (request from a painting supplies store) with staples.
  11. Hold a letter-writing campaign, by providing sample letters for participants to sign.
  12. Sign up new members at the rally. Prepare for handling cash and bring membership cards.
  13. Consider videotaping the event for PTA websites and other websites.
  14. Let us know how it went by email to and


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