Sharing information about important environmental issues is one of the best ways to build support for change. Start by inviting a few friends and neighbors to learn more about an issue that concerns you. Bringing friends together in your living room is a great way to get people engaged on an issue and take action.

Planning. Set a date, time and topic. Keep the meeting under one hour. Invite friends and neighbors though social media, email, or phone. You may want to send a reminder email to everyone a few days before the meeting to ensure they remember to come. Ask everyone to bring another friend to build the crowd. Refreshments are a good draw for attendance.

Issue research. Do some research on the issue you want to feature; you can find fact sheets and recent news articles on MCA’s website: Print out a few articles for guests to review and foster discussion.

Action at the meeting. With everyone in one place, the meeting can serve as a place for action. Be ready with suggestions for actions the group can take: writing letters-to-the-editor, planning a meeting with an elected official, holding a local educational event, and more. If you have message points and news outlet contact information ready, your guests can draft and send letters to local newspapers or to elected officials right at the meeting. Circulate a sign-in sheet at the meeting so you have contact information for everyone who attends.

Following up. Before the meeting ends, explore what the group is interested in doing next. If there is one issue you are all working on, decide what the best next step is and try to outline the plan before everyone leaves— perhaps even setting up the next meeting date. After the meeting, follow up with a thank you and a reminder of the group’s plans. 

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