See also: Activism Guide
Petitions are tools to educate the public and a good first step for new teams.
The preamble should set out clearly what the issue is and all the reasons for your concern. They also force you to know clearly what you want from the target. If you want to ban proprietary software on all government machines, say so. If you want free software for schools, say so. But don’t leave a petition hanging with just a general, “we are against proprietary software” statement.
You can take petitions door to door, leave them at sympathetic local shops, or you can set up a table somewhere (though that likely will require permission). If you are trying to gain support in a public venue like a mall, don’t be shy! Smile and ask people as they come by if they are interested in control over their own technology. If they avert their eyes and walk away, so be it. Leave them alone and KEEP SMILING! Set a goal. Know when you are done and make a big deal out of presenting the petition. Get a sympathetic politician to accept it from you and alert the media.