How to "table" for The
Tabling can be a successful way to educate
your community and find others who will join our organization
and become locally involved with November Coalition. A person
can work alone, with a few friends or as an activity of a November
An informational table can be set up in a busy area of town,
at community events, conferences-even at a city park near a sidewalk
path that gets a lot of traffic. All you need is visibility and
foot traffic - the more the better of course.
Know local regulations and get permission
If you choose a park or public area to table,
you will have to get permission. Your City Hall can advise you
about local regulations and any permits required. Permits are
an easy application process, but remember, it may take up to
a few weeks to get approval, so plan appropriately.
Find out if there are any restrictions on
the type of equipment you can use. How big can your table be?
How close to or distant from the sidewalk do you have to be?
We have display items that allow you to make a "gallery"
of prisoner posters. Can you use additional grassy areas in this
manner? A city clerk should be able to answer questions that
might not be answered with the information you get with the permit
application. Just ask.
Supplies you will need:
- · Table - card table, perhaps two
of them if you aren't working alone, or a folding table of any
type. The lighter the better though.
- · Chair - plastic lawn chairs or folding
chair, again lightweight. If you have volunteers that will be
helping you, remind them to bring a chair
- · Literature - The November Coalition
can provide you with the current issue of The Razor Wire for
distribution to the general public.
- · Posters
- Our laminated posters can be mounted in a variety of ways -
use your imagination and available resources. A chain link fence
makes an excellent backdrop for the prisoner laminates.
- · Tablecloth - a clean sheet or a
plain tablecloth that will cover top and three exposed sides
of your table.
- · Donation jar - A jar is heavier
than plastic or a can, but people give when they see that others
- · Sign-up sheets - Some people you
meet will want the opportunity to volunteer with you.
- · Local, state, or national petitions
- There may be drug reform initiatives or petition projects that
you can gather signatures for. Check with other local or state
drug reform activists for current voter initiatives, or with
our national office.
- · Banner
- The November Coalition has a banner that can be fixed onto
the back of your table by using thin wall conduit and clothesline
rope, or can be draped on the front of the table and fastened
to the table cloth.
- · Miscellaneous - Pins, tape, clear
paperweights, trays for literature, plastic stands if you are
displaying books.If weather is going to be wet, remember water-proof
table coverings and an umbrella or full picnic awning if regulations
Interacting with the public
If you have a November Coalition group and
regular meetings, be sure that you have this information (Date;
place; time of meeting and contact information) on a hand-out
that you can share with interested people, and all of those that
give you their contact information.
Encourage people to help by asking them to
call their congressional representatives about particular legislation
that we are supporting or opposing. The current issue of the
Razor Wire and our website has information on legislative alerts.
Use your time wisely, and don't argue with people. A loud or
animated conversation will keep others away. Debates are best
in a forum, not on a public sidewalk. Respect differences in
opinion, and be polite.
Mostly, you will find people receptive and friendly, or they
will simply walk by you. You don't have to be aggressive, but
when a group is tabling, one person often has some literature
to hand to interested people that won't approach the table. Be
aware that to be approached, you should look friendly and 'approachable'.
Educating the public is fun. People are interested in current
events and compelling issues, much more than you might realize.
Attitudes and opinions are easy to change - you are likely the
proof of that.
To order tabling supplies, visit our
activist supplies web section or write or call our office.