Summary of the Guidelines for Authorized Use of the WIMBY sign and pledge:
1. Visit the persons who were the victims of the bias incident. Explain what the WIMBY campaign is and seek their authorization to do the WIMBY campaign. Do not involve the victims in the actual canvassing. However, their friends can be involved if they subscribe to the WIMBY pledge themselves and are willing to pair up with you and follow the guidelines.
2. Write a description of the incident and fact check it thoroughly. Clear it with the affected persons. Wait a few days or even longer until if there are extremely strong and heated reactions to the event.
3. Begin canvassing door to door in the neighborhood, always in a pair (a diverse pair if possible), and never individually. Introduce yourself by saying, “We are going door to door to talk about community concern about the recent [brief description of the incident].” If the person who answers the door has not heard about this incident, read from or summarize the pre-approved description, but don’t distribute it. If the person who answered the door is amenable to talking, ask them if there is anyone else in the household who might wish to learn about why you are going door to door, and if so wait until they arrive.
4. Then explain further: “We wanted you to have a copy of the free and noncommercial WIMBY sign and pledge. WIMBY stands for Welcome in My Back Yard, and the WIMBY pledge is something that we would like you to read and consider signing in the privacy of your home. Once you have read the pledge, we would like you to consider putting up the WIMBY sign in your window over the next year, as a personal expression of your concern for the need to speak out against the kind of thing which just happened here in our community. We are not here to collect a signature from you on the WIMBY pledge, or to collect money from you for any cause. We do not keep track of the names of the people we have visited, or even the addresses we have visited. We do not keep track of which households have or have not put up the WIMBY sign, although we do sometimes try to get an idea of how many WIMBY signs were put up in any one area. We do keep track of which households we have been able to speak with in order to ensure we don’t visit them a second time. Most importantly, we make no effort to reach every household in a neighborhood. Thus, if one of your neighbors isn’t displaying the sign, or if you choose not to display the sign, for all anyone knows you just weren’t home when the WIMBY canvassing was done.”
5. If they take the sign, don’t assume they will sign it. Don’t try to talk them into signing it. In fact, if they try to sign it in front of you, suggest that they take the sign inside and discuss it or think about it, that you don’t need to be their for that. And thank them for listening! Simple as that. Simple, but it works!