By Parnika Godkhindi, OPIRG McMaster

So you’ve done everything you can to champion a cause: You’ve run awareness campaigns, facilitated workshops, and put up posters. The fight, however, is not over.

Petitions are an accessible way to garner support and spark change at the policy level. They request that the government take some specific action, or refrain from taking some action, to redress a public grievance (known as a “prayer”).

Before requesting an action of the government, ensure that it is within the scope of jurisdiction. The request should be clear, temperate, proper, and respectful.

To maximize the effectiveness of a petition, it is crucial to become familiar with the varying petition formats required for governments at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. Here’s a handy tool to help you figure it out.