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Engaging your Decision Maker

You’ve created a petition that’s now backed by a crowd of supporters. Now it’s time to connect directly with the decision maker who can implement that change. To get the change you want to see, it’s time to connect directly with the decision maker who can implement that change. Email, message, or call and ask for a phone or in-person meeting. If your decision maker refuses to meet with you, don’t worry. There are other ways to get your message to them. If you’re not sure which person can give you what you want, check out these tips on choosing the right decision-maker.

Here are the steps to connect and engage with your decision maker:
Step 1: Request a meeting
Step 2: Prepare for the conversation
Step 3: Explain what you want
Step 4: Follow up

Step 1: Request a meeting
Always ask for a meeting — in person or on the phone — with your decision maker. If they won’t meet with you, get their attention by doing a petition delivery.

Request a meeting with the primary “decider” on your issue
Governments, companies, and other institutions are often complex, and the person in charge may not be the person who actually decides to give you what you’re asking for. Do research and ask questions until you get the name of the person who can help you. That’s who you should meet with.

Make use of assistants and staff
If you’re petitioning a government official or company executive, it may be hard to find their direct contact information. Search the website for contact information for staff or executive assistants who might be able to help you.

Tell your supporters about your meeting
Once you have a meeting (or a petition delivery) scheduled, let your supporters know. They’ll be excited to support you, and making a meeting public helps keep your decision maker accountable for attending.


Dear Mayor Jane Smith,

I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss the urgent issue of banning single-use plastics in our city. As the primary decision maker on this matter, I believe your insights and support are crucial in making a positive change for our environment and community.

I have already gathered a significant number of signatures on a petition supporting this cause, which I will be bringing with me to the meeting. The community is eager to see action on this issue, and I believe our conversation can pave the way for meaningful progress.

I kindly request a meeting at your earliest convenience. I am available to meet in person or have a phone call to accommodate your schedule. Please let me know a date and time that works best for you, and I will make the necessary arrangements.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to discussing the steps we can take together to create a more sustainable future for our city.

[Your Name]

Step 2: Prepare for the conversation
A conversation with your decision maker could be your big chance to make the change you want, so it’s a great idea to prepare.

Practice with a friend
Practice the conversation ahead of time with a friend so you’re comfortable talking about your petition. Note relevant facts and details. Check out some suggested replies to common decision maker statements here.

Identify what you’re willing to negotiate
Most of the time, change-making includes some negotiation. Decide ahead of time what you’re willing to negotiate and what you’re not. Be honest with your decision maker about what is negotiable and be willing to listen to their proposals.

Bring your petition with you
Print your petition or download a digital copy onto a flash drive or CD and bring it with you. Being able to show the decision-maker the signatures and comments of your supporters is a powerful argument.

Print your petition and download your signature list and comments.

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