Host a Local Event
What is a Local Event or Action?
A local event or action is anything that gathers a group of folks together to publicly speak out against the proposed education budget cuts, and highlights the need to provide for quality education and fix our funding process.
It is focused on STATE issues more than local. Each district has issues around school closures, teacher layoffs, program cuts, etc., but these are all caused by the state funding cuts on the table. To have the greatest impact, our events need to focus on the ROOT CAUSE at the state level.
It is simple in message. Fund Education. Fix the Structural Deficit. Invest in our Future. Use the Rainy Day Fund. We are watching, we will remember, and we VOTE!
You must invite the media to cover your event! As good as your event or action may be, if the media is not covering it, the impact will be limited.
Examples of Local Events
- 50 parents and students gather with signs in a (safe) public place during rush hour, and ask drivers to honk for full funding of education.
- A PTA holds a letter-writing evening for parents, students and teachers, with students speaking out about large class sizes and losing teachers. (Great media opportunity!)
- A mass rally or candlelight vigil in front of your legislator’s local office.
- Save Texas Schools day throughout your district with parents gathered in front of schools with signs, asking people to sign petitions and make calls. Have signs with your local legislator’s phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
- A local neighborhood march to Save Texas Schools. Easy way to gather 500+ folks and easy to organize.
- Press conference with your superintendent of other school leader, to declare your support of full funding for schools. Invite the mayor, business leaders, faith leaders, etc. to speak out.
If you have additional ideas for local events, please share them by adding a comment below!
Getting Media Coverage
Public education funding is a very important issue, and statewide media has been eager to cover it.
After finalizing your event details, call as many TV, radio and print outlets in your area as possible. A phone number for submitting news ideas is almost always included on the outlet’s website. Try to speak to someone live rather than just leaving a message. Call several people at each TV station, radio station, or newspaper. Don’t worry that you may be calling the “wrong” person. Reporters typically will happily refer you to the right place. The more outlets you call, the more likely you are to have multiple reporters covering your event!
When reaching out, identify yourself as part of Save Texas Schools, a local and statewide grassroots movement that held a large rally at the Capitol on March 12. Most will be familiar and will want to do a follow-up.
Give several days notice, and repeat calls the day before your event. Media decisions are often last-minute.
Make your event photogenic! A good backdrop can make all the difference, as well as involving families and children.
Identify your spokespeople. Focus on the main STATEWIDE points. Repeat your message. Then repeat your message again. Voice support for local schools as much as possible.
Email us if you have an event planned so we can post it on a new Local STS Events page and email the details directly to STS supporters in your area. And don’t forget to share additional ideas for local events below!