Letter from Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association:
The attacks on our health, our environment, our political process—even our basic right to know about the research and findings of independent scientists at the EPA, USDA and FDA—are coming at us so fast we can barely keep up with the news.
All of us want to do something. But what?
We need to build a movement that can put an end to corporate crime and political corruption in the marketplace and in the political realm. At the same time, we need to regenerate our health, our economy, our local communities and our democracy.
How do we do this? By organizing house parties all over the country where we bring together people already working in our own communities on food, natural health, social justice and climate issues—and introduce them to two powerful concepts for change: #ConsumerRevolution and #PoliticalRevolution.
Your house party can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose. In this manual you’ll find tips on how to organize a successful house party or meetup from start to finish, with tips, checklists, sample invitations and more.
The information in this guide, based on the experience of organizers and volunteers who have supported the OCA, are just suggestions. Feel free to organize your house party or meetup as you see fit. The important thing is to bring people together and create a foundation for action in your community!
We have an unprecedented opportunity to dismantle the degenerative systems that benefit only a handful of wealthy CEOs and politicians, and together, build a regenerative future that works for all of us.
As an organizer, you will help us build this community of concerned citizens, working for a regenerative, healthier, safer, more equitable future. Thank you!
Regards and Solidarity,
Tips for Hosting a House Party
▶ Establishing a Facebook group is a great way to promote events. Invite friends, family and local community members to join and attend your house party or meetup. Actively post updates about the time, location and agenda to keep guests engaged. We’ll promote your event through our Facebook event page.
▶ Mailing traditional, paper invitations is a great way to make your guests feel special. It also includes those who may not use a computer regularly. Consider mailing invites to local food, natural health, climate, and social issue groups. Follow up with a phone call to confirm meetup details.
▶ Your home, church, local food co-op or brewery are a few places to consider hosting your event.
▶ Offering food and drink is great way to entice guests to attend. Be sure to include this fun fact on your invitations!
▶ Let’s shoot for the third week in April—you may want your meeting to coincide with Earth Day (April 22). But you can pick any date that suits you.
Create an agenda
▶ We highly recommend creating a brief agenda for your event in order to make the best use of your time. It also lets guests know what to expect when they arrive.
▶ Your agenda can include introductions, a short list of discussions topics, and conclude with questions and answers.
▶ Try keeping your event time under 90 minutes. Remember, your guests are busy too!
Lead the meeting
▶ Guests will look to you to lead the meeting, reference your agenda for talking points.
▶ Use this meeting to schedule your next event.
▶ Ask local vendors to donate to your cause. Organic, locally sourced restaurants, co-ops and natural grocers may donate food or beverages once you explain the cause.
▶ The goal of these meetups or house parties is to motivate people to unite and take action in their local communities, around the issues outlined in the #ConsumerRevolution and #PoliticalRevolution platforms. Read the platforms here.
Step 1: Print copies of the #ConsumerRevolution Pledge and hand out to your guests to sign.
Step 2: Join the #Consumer Revolution! The Organic Consumers Association has successfully promoted organic food and mobilized grassroots efforts to demand GMO-labeling. Now, it’s time to widen the focus of our campaigns to include meat and dairy sourced from factory farms, clothing made from GMO cotton and synthetic fibers, and ethanol made from GMO corn. Sign petitions, take action and get the latest updates here: https://www.organicconsumers.org/consumerrevolution.
Step 3: Join the #Political Revolution! We’ve teamed up with Our Revolution to elect local, state, and federal lawmakers who support our #ConsumerRevolution and #PoliticalRevolution platforms. Join local Our Revolution chapters to help bring the regeneration message to your community or create a local chapter. Search in your area here: map.ourrevolution.com.
Step 4: Get local! The regeneration movement must start at the grassroots level. Identify the most pressing issues in your community and create an action plan. Local causes may include:
• campaign to pass a local pollinator protection ordinance
• removing the use of pesticides and herbicides on parks, schools and public lands
• campaign to stop factory farm expansion
• removing fluoride from public drinking water
• building a local food hub
• supporting local anti-fracking efforts
Step 5: Keep us updated so we can help with your cause! We can provide organizing materials, promote your event or grassroots cause and offer motivational support and advice. Email us at email@example.com.
▶ One last tip: Complete letters and petition signing at your event. The best way to utilize volunteers is when you have them right in front of you. So complete letters to elected officials or other targets at your event.
Sample Timeline for a Meetup or House Party
Here’s a sample timetable for a small to medium-sized house party or meetup. This is just a suggestion, adapt as you see fit.
Checklist to prepare for your Regeneration Meetup:
☐ Ask friends to help host your meetup
☐ Create Facebook Group to interact with and invite friends, family, community members, and local activists to support your mission
☐ Create Facebook event to promote meetup
☐ Mail invitations
☐ Plan meal or potluck (use organic when possible!)
☐ Prepare your agenda
☐ Provide name tags, pens, clipboards for guests to sign in
☐ Collect OCA #ConsumerRevolution materials (leaflets, stickers, petitions can be downloaded here).
☐ Read Rules for Revolutionaires: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond and Zack Exley
Day of Regen Meetup event!
☐ Welcome guests, mingle, give introductions
☐ Ask guests to sign in with their name, email, phone and city
☐ Identify community causes to take action on (use steps listed above)
☐ Sign petitions and write letters supporting your cause
☐ Schedule future meetups
☐ Send OCA guests lists and completed petitions or pledges
Scan and email these to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to OCA, 6771 S. Silver Hill Dr., Finland, MN 55603
☐ Follow up with guests about action plans, future meetings
Frequently Asked Questions About Your House Party or Meetup
I am not an expert on organic food and regenerative agriculture. What should I do to get ready for the house party?
No worries, you don’t have to be expert on regenerative agriculture. The campaign literature speaks for itself. You’re simply a concerned citizen who supports local, regenerative, organic food, fiber and body care products. Here’s some background info: insert link, but please don’t feel you have to know everything about the OCA’s campaigns to host a party!
To familiarize yourself with questions that might come up, you might want to:
▶ Get familiar with the #ConsumerRevolution and #PoliticalRevolution platforms. You can read them here.
▶ Visit organicconsumers.org and look over the campaign pages.
▶ Read “Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job?" By Jack Kittredge, available here.
▶ Think about why you support the work of the OCA and the Regeneration Revolution platform—write a few paragraphs so you can share your passion and excitement with those who attend the party.
▶ If someone asks a question that you do not know the answer to, don’t worry about it, just be honest and tell them you don’t know. You can tell the concerned person to visit our website at organicconsumers.org to find out more.
How do I keep track of my guest’s questions or concerns?
It can be very difficult for one person to run the party and keep track of what’s going on. Have a team member take notes and/or act as moderator, so questions are answered to the best of your ability. A whiteboard is a good tool for taking notes and brainstorming. Also, if there are stories that really move you, your team member can make sure these are jotted down so they can be shared with us and passed on to everyone else.
You’re invited to a Regeneration Meetup co-sponsored by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). This Regeneration Meetup is intended to launch a consumer and political revolution by uniting concerned citizens from around the country who support the vision for a regenerative future. Bring your questions, ideas and passion!
What: Regeneration Meetup
Please RSVP to:
Directions: [Include a map to your house party using a service such as Google maps. Facebook events generate maps automatically as long as you enter the location of your event]
Sample Thank You Note
Thank you for attending our Regeneration Meetup. Supporting the Regeneration Revolution provides a concrete opportunity for concerned citizens who hold a new, more hopeful vision for a regenerative, healthier, safer, more equitable future to work together on local and regional issues. The Regeneration Revolution demonstrates that grassroots citizen action is the driving force in our crusade to move away from a degenerative food and farming system to a new, regenerative future.
At our meeting we decided our group was going to work on ____. At our next meeting we will work on ways we can make that project become reality. Our next meeting will be on ____, and I hope to see you there.
Looking forward to working with you in the organic movement!
Meetup/House Party Feedback Form
Thank you for hosting the party! Please fill out this form at the end of the house party. Your feedback is critical in helping us improve our future house parties.
We hope you will continue to support OCA’s #RegenerationRevolution platform by volunteering and spreading the word to your family, friends and neighbors. If you need more information about volunteering or hosting a Regeneration Meetup house party, please call the OCA office at 218-226-4164 or email email@example.com.