How To Successfully Circulate a Neighborhood Petition

published Feb 21, 2012
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

There is a major development being proposed right across the street from my house. Needless to say, I’m no happy camper. After going through stages of disbelief, anger, and sadness, I decided to get busy:

How do you start a petition? It’s something I really didn’t know the answer to, but after leading a petition of my own, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s what I learned before hitting the pavement over the weekend:

  • Get help. Circulating a petition is hard work, so divvy it up among a few like-minded neighbors who are willing to help. Have one person write the petition, have others make copies and go door-to-door. Talk to others in your neighborhood who have made appeals in your community before for their advice.
  • Prepare your spiel. Having a concise, compelling statement ready to bring people up to speed on their doorsteps will come in handy. Agree on it between everyone so you know you’re all spreading the same word.
  • Go online. provides free hosting online of public petitions. This is a great way to reach further, faster.
  • Get a digital copy. Once you have all of your signatures, scan the hard copies into a digital format. This will allow you to keep a record and email a copy to its recipient. Be sure to deliver a hard copy, too, though.

Have you ever circulated a neighborhood petition? What was the cause that turned you into a neighborhood activist? Any tips to add?