RALLY OR PRESS CONFERENCE 

If your group is able to organize a rally or a march that will attract a strong turnout, hosting this type of event can be hugely successful in raising the profile of the housing affordability crisis and growing community support for federal investments in affordable homes. This type of event can draw members of your community who are unaware of the need for housing investment and can garner media attention. A similar option would be to host a press event, inviting community leaders and members of the media to speak and learn about the need for housing investment at a small forum. If you choose to host a press event, make sure to include strong visuals and to share stories of those in your community who have benefited from housing assistance, as these will assist members of the media in telling your story.

 

​GETTING STARTED

  • Recruit community leaders and organizations to sponsor and help plan the event with you. Create a strategic plan and divide responsibilities among the group. Plan frequent communication between event organizers.

  • Choose a time and location for your event. Consider a state capitol, city hall, housing authority office, your Representative or Senators’ local office, a local park, a community center, or a house of worship. Research what city, county, or state permits may be necessary for your event. Rallies that do not require street closings will often involve a much easier approval process.

  • Create a Facebook event that explains the time, location, and purpose of your event. Explain the need for affordable housing in your community and the important role federal investment plays in making sure all people have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

SHARING THE EVENT

  • Share information about the Week of Action, including the link to the Facebook event and contact information for event organizers, with ourhomes@nlihc.org.

  • Publicize the rally or march through your email list and social media accounts; ask other organizations interested in social justice and anti-poverty causes to publicize the event through their channels.

  • If you’re hoping to have speakers at your rally, invite them early in the planning process. Consider inviting more speakers than you need; not everyone will be available. Inviting community leaders to speak can help build your media presence.

  • Consider inviting your elected officials.

    • A template for inviting your members of Congress is available for your use.

    • Contact their offices and ask to speak with their scheduler.​

      • Explain that you work with an organization dedicated to providing homes that are decent and affordable and that in conjunction with the national Our Homes, Our Voices Week of Action, you would like to host the official and their staff at your site so they can meet residents and better understand what affordable housing looks like in your community.

      • If they tell you your elected official is not available, ask that a staff member come in their place. 

  • Update your Facebook page and send emails to those interested in your rally as new details develop. Build excitement by announcing speakers as they are confirmed.

  • Contact local media outlets in advance of your rally and designate a member of your planning team as your liaison to the media.

    • A draft press release and other media templates will soon be made available. 

  • In the week preceding, make sure to use social media to raise awareness of your event and of the need for affordable housing investment. Consider a coordinated Twitter, Facebook, and email blast. Copy ourhomes@nlihc.org on your emails.

PLANNING LOGISTICS

  • Plan for day-of logistics including a sound system, stage, signage around the event, chairs for attendees with limited mobility, ASL interpreters for deaf or hard of hearing attendees, bathroom facilities that include accessibility features., and access to water. Make sure volunteers are trained to provide information and direction for attendees before, during, and after the event.

  • Create a day-of logistics plan and review it with all planning team members and volunteers. Confirm speakers’ arrival time and length of address the week prior to the event.

  • Use the event as an opportunity to raise awareness for the need for investments in homes that are affordable. Provide attendees with information about the shortage of homes and the role of Congress in determining the levels at which federal programs will be funded. Inform them about opportunities to engage in federal policy advocacy and in local issues.

  • During the rally, ask attendees to tweet and post using the hashtag #ourhomesourvoices. Collect the names, emails, and organizational affiliation of all attendees.

  • If you are unfamiliar with planning a rally, consider contacting your local Indivisible or Our Revolution organization for assistance.

AFTER THE EVENT

  • After the event, send an email thanking attendees and reminding them of ways to continue to be involved in the movement for affordable homes for all. Write thank you letters to speakers, volunteers, site hosts, and others. Be sure to post on your organization’s blog or social media pages about the rally to continue to raise awareness of the issue.

Our Homes, Our Voices | National Housing Week of Action

C/O National Low Income Housing Coalition

1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC  20005

202-662-1530 | ourhomes@nlihc.org

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