Guide to Hosting An Open House Activism Party


These are not easy times. If you want to make a difference and get your voice heard, Open House Activism is an easy, fun way for you and your peeps to take action.  There are many possible forms that an Open House Activism Party can take:

  • writing letters or post cards about a specific issue and sending them to elected officials,
  • writing letters to the editor,
  • making posters or signs to carry at an event or rally,
  • calling to friends in other parts of the country using SwingLeft to identify ‘swing’ districts where legislators may be susceptible to constituent pressure, or
  • Calling friends you know in New Mexico and encouraging them to get involved.

Whatever the activity, here’s how to do it step-by-step.

  1. Decide on an issue that’s important to you or an activity you’d like to do as part of an Open House Activism Party.
  2. Check online for information about the issue that you can print out and share. If your action involves providing support for a specific population or cause, it’s important to find out from the community most affected by your issue what actions they would like supporters to take.
  3. Determine who you want to reach with your message (Local or National Senators, Representatives, Committee Members, etc.)You can write letters, emails or make calls to elected officialsor  government agencies. You can also write Letters to the Editor or Op Ed pieces to your local newspaper
  4. Pick a date and time for your event. 3 hours is plenty of time to get a bunch of letter writing done or calls made.  If you are going to be making calls, make sure people bring their cell phones and address book or list of people they want to call.
  5. Send out your invitation briefly explaining the issue , to your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues a week or two in advance. You could ask for RSVPs if you’re concerned about lack of space, but a drop-in event is good, too.
  6. Make copies of info (use large, readable type) and who and where to send letters and postcards – or write it on a blackboard or whiteboard if you have one.
  7. Have the following materials on hand; paper, envelopes, cards, postcards, pens, stamps, folding chairs.  If you are going to make signs, make sure you have poster board and either markers or paint.
  8. Clear tables for writing or drawing. Try putting tables together for folks to sit around, it creates a warm, sense of community and encourages sharing of information.
  9. People tend to come and go. Be prepared to explain the issue and letter writing process when someone new shows up.
  10. Serve some snacks, water, tea – letter writing makes people a little hungry & thirsty. If friends are coming, you could make it a potluck. Enjoy!!