Fiscal Showdown Event Guide
Host Prep Call:
To listen to a recording of the Host Prep Call, click here.
It's all hands on deck for the Fiscal Showdown. We need to act so that Senate Democrats don't cave and Republicans are exposed for trying to raise taxes on 98% of American families by $2k to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
Progressives are rallying on December 10 for a Fiscal Showdown Day of Action at hundreds of congressional offices nationwide. We'll gather to issue our demands, share powerful personal stories, and make sure that Congress hears our message loud and clear: No more tax cuts for the top 2%, and no deals that cut benefits!
Sign up for an event near you or organize your own by clicking here.
Have a question that's not answered in this guide? Email our volunteer-led Support Corps at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 1: Reach out to congressional office
If your member of congress is a Democrat, reach out to the office prior to the event to find out where he or she stands on the issue. If she or he is a supporter, you can if they will attend your event and address the crowd.
Step 2: Reach out to allies
Reach out to local groups and unions. If so, figure out how to combine efforts instead of having more than one event per city or town.
To find out if there is an event that allies are organizing near you, click on the link below:
Step 3: Choose the best location for your event
The best way to increase pressure on Congress to do what's right and let them know that we will hold them accountable is to have your event outside of the local office of your member of congress. If there isn’t an office in your community, pick a location that helps symbolize the impact the cuts will have locally. Be sure it’s public property and it's okay to be there.
If you haven't done so already, be sure to post your event by clicking here and going directly to the event posting page. Once you've posted your event, you will have access to your host tools page and everything else you will need in order to organize a fun and successful election call party.
Step 4: Line up speakers
Key to the success of these events is having a few people who can tell a personal story about why it's so important that Congress does not make the cuts that will hurt the middle class. To identify these speakers, start by brainstorming who on your Council or who of your friends and family might be willing to personally speak on this issue. If you are working with allies, you can also reach out to them to see if they already have speakers lined up or folks they could reach out to.
If your target is a Democrat, recruit speakers who can share stories about how cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, will affect them.
If your target is a Republican, recruit speakers who can tell a story about how $2,000 a year in tax-cuts will impact their lives.
It's important that you prepare your speakers well. Make sure to have a prep call or meeting with everyone who is speaking at your speak-out.
Step 5: Recruit local MoveOn members to your event
If you're new to hosting, be sure to check out the MoveOn Recruitment Guide for helpful tips and suggestions to boost turnout. But whether this is your first or your fiftieth event, here are the three key steps to recruiting people:
Hit the phones: The most tried-and-true way we know to get people out to events is to pick up the phone and call them. Our Call Tool makes it easy to call active MoveOn members in your area. Council members, you can use the Recruitment Tool to call and invite other MoveOn members.
Send emails: You can also invite people over email from your Host Tools Page. If you are part of a Council, make sure to invite every Council member and everyone who recently attended a Council event.
Step 6: Invite Media
Getting local media to cover your event helps reach thousands more people with our message. The key to getting media coverage is organizing a compelling event (check!), inviting the press, and persistence. If you've never organized an event like this, check out the MoveOn Media Guide for more tips.
Here's a timeline for your media outreach:
A day or two before your event, email or fax a media advisory that includes details of your event, then call to confirm that each reporter or editor received the advisory. On the day of the event, take the same steps—send the media advisory to the press, then make follow-up calls to see who'll cover your event.
A sample advisory and talking points will be posted on the top right of this guide for you to use. Making follow-up calls to local media is critical to getting them to cover your event. If you think you'll need help making phone calls, ask MoveOn members who have RSVP'd for your event to make a few calls (on your Host Tools Page, you can see which RSVPs indicated they'd like to help).
Step 7: Join the Host Prep Call
Join the Host Prep Call, Thursday, December 6. To RSVP and for a personal call-in code, click here.
Here are other key materials for your party:
Do you need a permit?In most communities, you don't need a permit to stand on public property—including public sidewalks. But depending on the location of your event, you may want to check with local authorities ahead of time. If you're unsure, just check with local authorities. Also, if you have a sound system, you are more likely to need to arrange a permit. If you run into any questions or problems, talk to your Regional Organizer, Field Organizer, or email Help@moveon.org.
Arrive at least an hour early to set up the sound system and greet speakers.
As people arrive, make sure volunteers are distributing signs and the folks are keeping tabs on the crowd.
Start as close to on time as possible. Don't wait more than ten minutes after your advertised start-time—especially if any reporters are there.
Sample event program:
- 10:45-11:05 Pre-event: Gather outside the local office of a senator or representative.The host will want to greet everyone as they arrive, and give them signs if they didn't bring any.
- 11:05-11:07 Kick-off: Call the crowd to attention, begin with chant to pull everyone together.
- 11:07-11:10 Host remarks: After distributing the media advisory to any reporters, offer brief remarks about the purpose of the event.
- 11:10-11:13 Speaker 1
- 11:13-11:16 Speaker 2
- 11:16-11:20 Interlude: Chants and/or music
- 11:20-11:23 Speaker 3
- 11:23-11:30 Wrap-up: Conclude the speaking event with a few remarks. When finished, ask everyone to continue chanting for another 5-10 minutes. Some people may want to hold signs and have a "honk-and-wave" for a bit longer, to get our message out to passing traffic.
- The public event should take no more than one hour.
- Ask others to step up into roles—don't run a one-person show!
- If you are on a public sidewalk, make sure to keep a path clear for passersby.
- People often tend to huddle close together—and this often makes their signs less visible and makes the crowd look smaller. Encourage folks to spread out and to make their signs visible to the public and the media.
- Chants are often a great energizer.
- Have fun!
Step 1: Hold a quick meeting right after your event to debrief and talk about next steps.
Step 2: Follow up with folks who attended your event:
- Call the people on your sign-up sheets to thank them for coming and ask them to attend the next event or meeting.
- Debrief with any members who took on leadership roles during the event. This includes greeters, the emcee, and other coordinators.
- Share any news coverage and press clippings with attendees. It's also great to send these to the office of your member of Congress.
- Send a thank-you note to any speakers from your event.
Step 3: Fill out the survey you'll receive via email after the event. And email any photos from the event to email@example.com.
Step 4: Celebrate, and talk to your Council Organizer, Regional Organizer, or Field Organizer to get ready for the next action!
Step 5: COUNCIL MEMBERS: Add new attendees to your Council!
If you had new people come, add them to your Council from your Council page: http://moveon.org/organize. If you have questions, make sure to contact your Field Organizer or Regional Organizer.