Signing a petition is an easy but generally ineffective way of influencing your MOCs. Typically, the petition is not targeted to your MOCs specifically, and signatures are not solicited only from your district (for Representatives) or state (for Senators). Plus, the minimal effort each person makes in signing a petition means MOCs are unlikely to give it much weight. As Barney Frank explains, a goal in any advocacy is to persuade your MOC that you care enough about an issue for it to motivate your voting behavior in the next election. “Simply agreeing to put your name on a list does not convey this.”
But a petition is an effective way for the sponsoring organization to expand its list of people to solicit for money and more active involvement. You may not mind that, e.g., if you’re already a member of the organization or it’s one you’re interested in joining. And if a well-focused petition gets major support from the public, it may attract attention from the media and potentially even MOCs.
So if a petition is on an issue you care about, the sponsoring organization is one you trust, and the petition is well-focused on a specific “ask,” you may want to sign on. But don’t stop there—follow up with one of the other advocacy tools listed on the main Advocacy page.
See this article for additional information on petitions.