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Guide for Organizing a "Will Work for Clean Energy" Event

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Materials You'll Need

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[Click here for a large-text version of this guide]

On October 2, we will organize symbolic unemployment lines to urge undecided senators to support President Obama's clean energy jobs plan, which would create 1.7 million jobs.

All across the country, people are really hurting. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in July, the highest rate since 1983. The August unemployment rate will be announced at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on October 2, the date of our events, and it may go over 10%.

The "Will Work for Clean Energy" events will push undecided senators to address to rising joblessness by supporting a strong clean energy jobs bill. This guide give you everything you need to organize your own event. If you have questions, email

1. What does the ideal "Will Work for Clean Energy" event look like?

Symbolic unemployment lines can have anywhere from 5-25 people. Participants in the events will hold signs (examples below). You can make it even better by wearing Great Depression-style hats or clothes (you don't have to but it will provide a great image for TV cameras).

2. Before Your "Will Work for Clean Energy" Event

3. During your "Will Work for Clean Energy" event

Be sure to arrive at least 20 minutes before the event starts. Hold up a sign so that people who can find you. As people arrive, arrange them in a line in front of the office of the senator. Hand out signs and hats and coats, if you have them. Remind people to stand with sober expressions, as they would in a real unemployment line.

Once a few people arrive, ask someone to take over handing out signs so that you can speak with any media who arrive. If anyone arrives who works in a clean energy industry or is personally unemployed, make a note of that, because reporters may want to interview them. You'll recognize reporters because usually they are carrying notebooks. TV stations will have big cameras. Introduce yourself to all reporters, tell them your very brief main talking points, and ask if they have any questions. Be sure to find out what media outlet they are from.

If any police arrive (not likely, but possible), be very polite and explain what we're there for. If they want you to move, you should do so.

Stand in your symbolic unemployment line for at least 25-30 minutes. After that, pull people together and, as a group, go into the senator's office. Following your media talking points, tell them about your event, give them your petition (if your state has one) and ask if they will commit to supporting President Obama's clean energy jobs plan.

Finally, thank everyone for their help, and tell them what a great job they did.

4. After your "Will Work for Clean Energy" events

Fill out the survey we sent you. Send any press clippings or photos from the event to Celebrate your success!