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Action Center

Economic Recovery House Meeting Host Guide

Over the last two years, President Obama has traveled the country listening to your stories. It is because of your stories of job loss, stagnant wages, and home foreclosures that even before taking office he started creating a plan that would recover and reinvest in our economy.

That is why this weekend thousands of people just like you are hosting Economic Recovery house meetings in their neighborhoods. The most important part of your meeting is to share your story, the story of your neighbors, and collect the stories of your community during this economic crisis.

During your event, invite your guests to share their stories and then make sure to get those stories back to us:

• Write your stories
• Call in with your stories
• Record a video of your stories
• Send pictures of your stories

Share your stories with us here.
Once we receive your stories we will make them available to the public to demonstrate how important it is to support the economic recovery plan.

There are so many ways for you to share your community's experience and let your friends and neighbors know that President Obama is listening. By sharing stories from your community you can help show that the economic recovery plan is about more than just numbers and stats. It's about improving the lives of the American people by investing in education, creating green jobs, increasing health care coverage and putting our families back to work.

We need to hear from you how the economic crisis is affecting your life and why the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is important to you.

“We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.” - President Barack Obama

As more and more Americans lose jobs and bills pile up, it is time for a plan that includes both new policy and new approaches, with the goal of saving or creating over three million jobs while investing in priorities like health care, energy, and education to jumpstart job creation and long-term growth.

Host an Economic Recovery house meeting Saturday, February 7th, to talk with your friends and neighbors about what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan means for you, your community and the country.

This guide will provide you with all the tools and resources you need to host a successful Economic Recovery house meeting. At your event you will:

• Connect with your neighbors and discuss how the current economic crisis is affecting your community.
• Watch a short video that will outline the basics of President Obama's economic recovery plan focusing on how it will impact working families.
• Share your story of how the economic crisis is affecting your life and why the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is important to you.
• Commit to taking the next steps in your community to help push forward President Obama's plan to jumpstart job creation and long-term economic growth.

It is up to each one of us to take the fate of our country into our hands. Use this guide to start planning your own Economic Recovery house meeting today.

Step 1: Register your Event

Take a moment to register your event online. Registering your event online means you’ll get your own page for your event, be able to send an invite to your friends, track who is planning on attending, and send details and reminders to your attendees.

Here are some things to keep in mind while creating your event:
• Select Economic Recovery Meeting as your event type.
• Make your event searchable if you'd like to allow supporters on My.BarackObama to RSVP. Make your event unsearchable if you wish only to invite friends and family.

Step 2: Invite Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues.

Start with people you know. Think about friends and neighbors who were involved during the campaign. Next think about people who may not have been involved in the past, but are concerned about the current economic crisis. Aim to invite at least 50 people, to ensure you have 15-20 people in attendance.

You may also want to reach out to your larger community. You can find your local My.BarackObama group and invite members to attend by emailing the group's listserv. You can create your own event flyers and post them at your local coffee shop, grocery store, or library.

Encourage all of your attendees to RSVP for your event so you know how many people to expect. Send an email to all of your attendees using the Email Attendees link on the Manage Your Events page a day or two before the event to remind everyone of the event’s details.

Step 3: Get your Materials in Order

There are some things you should have ready before your Economic Recovery house meeting.

Sheets
This is the form that you will want to have all your attendees use to sign in.
Download the form.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Video
Watch two special videos detailing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan at your event to familiarize your guests with the plan.
• Watch a video from Governor Tim Kaine answering questions about the economic recovery plan.
• Download a video of President Obama talking about his plan to stimulate the economy.

Talking Points
Think about printing out Talking Points to help your guests share information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan with your larger community.
Download Talking Points.

State-by-State Analysis
Find out how the President's economic recovery plan affects your state and your community.

Camera or Video Camera
Take pictures or create a video to help tell your stories. Then share them with us after the event.

This agenda is meant to be a guide for your local house meeting. The most important thing is for you to have a clear agenda that includes time to watch the video, to discuss President Obama's economic recovery plan and share your stories of why it is important to you and your community.

Sample Schedule:

Welcome from Host – 5 minutes
Introduce yourself and ask your guests to sign-in.
Share your personal story including why you were inspired to host this meeting and why you believe the economy is a critical issue to focus on in your community.

Watch the Video - 10 minutes
Get the conversation going by watching a special video message from Governor Tim Kaine answering questions about what the Economic Recovery Plan will mean for you.

Share Your Story – 20 minutes
Invite your guests to share their personal stories, particularly how they pertain to the current economic situation. Feel free to ask questions to get the discussion going, such as:
• How has the current economy affected your life?
• How is the recession affecting our community?
• What aspects of the current economic climate do we feel need to be addressed immediately?
Why is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan important to you?

Then share your stories with us. You could create a video, write your stories, share pictures that tell your stories or call 1-888-64-CHANGE (1-888-642-4264) to tell your stories. We're counting on you to collect the real stories of how the economic crisis is affecting Americans. We'll make sure your stories are heard in order to continue to build support for the economic recovery plan.

Brainstorm - 10 minutes
Discuss ways your group can share with your community the plans President Obama has to revitalize the economy. Consider what obstacles must be overcome before the plan is able to move forward. It may help to answer some of the following questions:
• How can we continue to collect stories about the economic crisis from our community?
• How can our group encourage public support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan?
• Which representatives should we contact to express our support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan?
• What are other ways we can work to improve the economic situation of our local community?

Closing and Next Steps – 5 minutes
Collect all sign-in sheets. Ask your guests to continue to collect stories from their family and friends and report them back to us. Thank your guests for their involvement and participation.

Capture Information
Enter your sign-in sheets online.

Share Your Stories
Be sure to upload your pictures, videos, or written stories. You can also call 1-888-64-CHANGE (1-888-642-4264) to share stories from you event. We'll make your stories available available online to grow support for the economic recovery plan.

Thank your guests
Send individual thank you emails to all of your guests. Follow up with those who committed to help plan future events to spread the word about President Obama’s plan to jumpstart the economy. Make sure to encourage all of your participants to stay involved and let them know about upcoming events.

Share Your Feedback
How did your Economic Recovery meeting go? What worked best? What questions do you or your guests still have about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan? Share your feedback. Write a blog post to share your experience with the community and send your photos to

Congratulations, you are making the change you voted for possible by working in your neighborhood to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Now begin planning your next event. It's up to each one of us to keep this movement going and keep fighting for change.



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