More people turning to online petitions to make change amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 1:57 PM, May 14, 2020

They say if you're not happy about something, change it. That's exactly what people are doing now more than ever.

“It just gives people a way to mobilize in mass in a way that's really impressive to try and influence a decision maker,” said Mike Jones, Managing Director of Campaigns at is seeing an unprecedented number of people taking action online. There were about 57 million signatures alone just on virus-related petitions in the last two months.

These are initiatives like getting more protective equipment to first responders, economic aid and relief, and most recently around commencement and graduation events.

There are around 500 petitions alone on helping students walk across stages later in the year or in a creative fashion.

All are urgent, which is one of three things you need to have a successful petition. Second is a personal story.

“It’s somebody who is clearly able to say or tell how an issue is affecting them or how an issue is affecting a loved one, or how an issue is affecting a neighbor or community,” said Jones. “It really paints a picture that motivates people to take action.

You also need to include a decision maker on the petition, like a principal or school president in the case of graduations.

“And what's really interesting about that is that as numbers go up, decision makers just automatically feel more pressure,” said Jones.

Two or three dozen petitions centered around graduations that were supposed to take place this week have turned out successful.

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