Monday, October 1
Referendum Ontario Info Session
Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St E (at Broadview)
Tuesday, October 2nd
Laurelwood Village, 605 Laurelwood Drive, Waterloo
Wednesday, October 3
Ottawa Women for MMP Reception
7 Hamilton Ave N,
Thursday, October 4th
Couchiching Round Table
University of Toronto Faculty Club
41 Willcocks Street, Toronto
For more info visit www.couch.ca
Step-by-Step Project One:
Planning an Issue Forum
An issue forum is an event that you organize to highlight a particular public policy, advocacy, or outreach issue that is important to you. In can take many different forms:
A panel event – usually with three or four speakers plus a moderator. The speakers are experts or generally well-recognized in the field, and it is helpful if they represent a variety of different backgrounds. You set the panel theme and ask panellists to prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on the theme. Leave time for questions and answers.
An open house. Invite people to your home, workplace, or organization, for some food and drink, and host a speaker on MMP. Ask other partner organizations to participate and to bring information they can leave with the attendees.
A launch party. Host a party in an (allowed) public space, or rent space, or hold it in a private venue. Have some music, invite organizations to table at the event, have snack food, and other performers. Make your issue the theme of the event. Ie. Salsa for MMP! A lot of non-profit organizations offer fine arts and performance programs for youth, and they are often available to perform for free. If you need a list of these organizations, contact us at email@example.com
A tag-along to another, already planned event. At your next women’s caucus meeting in your workplace or union, or at your next church function, or at your local community group’s monthly general meeting, ask if you can come speak for a few minutes about MMP. Remember to bring some brochures of flyers to leave with people.
- Working in coalition with a wide range of diverse organizations allows you to take on larger projects, reach more women and gain additional exposure.
- Schedule the event at a convenient time. Avoid religious or government holidays, dates when other community functions are scheduled, and business hours.
- Choose an accessible site that will attract a range of women from the community, preferably a well-known and wheelchair-accessible site, such as a local school, community center, or library.
- Advertise widely. Remember people are not going to know about the issue forum unless you tell them. Advertise on email listserves, on grocery stores and church bulletin boards, in the community section of your newspaper, and many radio and tv stations also offer a community events listing service.
- Invite speakers with demonstrated knowledge or personal experience with the issue. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions for speakers.
- Arrange for a moderator. A well-known, nonpartisan moderator who is respected in your community will generate interest in the event and add credibility. The moderator opens the forum by introducing the speakers and issues to be discussed. The speakers then give their presentations. The remainder of the forum should be open for questions from the audience.
- Thank the speakers with letters or phone calls to promote a good relationship. Be certain to send a letter of appreciation to the moderator.
Generating an Audience
- Send an advisory notifying the news media about your event three to five days in advance.
- Allocate central, unobstructed space close to electrical outlets for TV camera crews and reporters.
- Send invitations to coalition partners and other important guests. Invite as many groups as possible to participate, even if they did not help plan the event. A diverse group of co-sponsors will have more credibility and attract a much wider audience.
- Invite the public. You can find women voters living as close as next door. In addition to reaching your neighbors and co-workers, make an extra effort to market the event to the women you would like to attend. Outreach to coalition partners and the community can help you gain exposure and expand membership. Be sure to submit an announcement to free community bulletin boards in newspapers and community cable outlets.