Agenda and Presenters 7:00 – 7:15pm ET 10 minutes presentation 5 minutes Q&A Building State Coalitions Edwina Rogers, Executive Director State Website Management Loren Vandergrift, Webmaster Effective Lobbying Kelly Damerow, Director of Federal and State Affairs Media & Communications Lauren Anderson Youngblood, Communications Manager Development & Fundraising Aisha Goss, Deputy Director 7:15 – 7:30pm ET 10 minutes presentation 5 minutes Q&A 7:30 – 8:00pm ET 20 minutes presentation 10 minutes Q&A 8:00 – 8:30pm ET 20 minutes presentation 10 minutes Q&A 8:30 – 9:00pm ET 20 minutes presentation 10 minutes Q&A
Health & Safety Education Keystone Subject Areas Discrimination Tax Policy Government Actions Military
Health and Safety • Abortion • SmartRecovery • Adoption • Conscience clause • Death with dignity • Stem cells research • Contraception mandate • Medical neglect exemptions • Child care center regulation exemptions • Child abuse reporting exemption for clergy • Vaccination exemptions
Education • Vouchers to religious school • Secular student groups • Religiously motivated bullying • Teaching evolution, not creationism • Sex education • School prayer • Pledge of allegiance
Discrimination • Same-sex marriage • Faith-based initiatives • Employment discrimination exemptions • Housing discrimination exemptions • Grants to religious charities • Prisoner discrimination • Boy scouts
Tax Policy • Religious privileging in the tax code • Automatic exemption status • Financial disclosures (990’s) • Church Audit Procedures Act • Politicking from the pulpit • Parsonage exemption
Military • Chaplain reform • Humanist identity • Non-proselytism • Acceptance of nontheists
Government Actions • National day of prayer • “In God We Trust” • Oaths of office • Legislative prayer • Prayer caucus • Federal funding to build churches
Secular Coalition Services • Your Government Watchdogs • Your voice on Capitol Hill – The Secular Coalition is the sole full time 501c4 advocacy organization representing nontheistic Americans at the federal level. • Legislation and Regulation Tracking – Alerts and updates on legislation that attempts to privilege or insert religion into secular laws, at the state and federal level. • State Chapters – The Secular Coalition has functional chapters in 7 states and is in the process of rolling out new chapters in every state across the country. State chapters organize SCA-trained constituent lobbyists to combat troublesome legislation at the state level. • Action Alerts – Calls to action on pertinent pieces of legislation at the state and federal level, allowing supporters to contact their representatives swiftly. • Influencing with Decision Makers– Holding meetings with Capitol Hill and the Administration advocating for our supporters and arranging for constituent lobbying visits for our supporters. • Advocacy and Education • Secular Summit and Lobby Day – An opportunity to show lawmakers that nontheistic Americans are part of their constituency and advocate at the federal level for inclusion and secular laws. • Trainings—The SCA offers lobbying and media training to state chapters and provides continuing support as chapters grow. • Summits & Movement Calls – Hosting strategy meetings to discuss issues of concern to the movement. • Research – Bolster your advocacy with our updated website collection of research on secular issues. • Scorecards – Our election scorecards help you quickly identify where candidates rate in their support of a secular government.
Secular Coalition Services • Keeping You Updated • Weekly Movement Update Calls & Agenda – Every Thursday at 12:00 pm ET, in depth analysis on secular and related issues, including a rundown of all of SCA’s lobbying efforts and the combined efforts of the entire movement. • Morning Read – A daily synopsis of the secular and related news of the day. • Secular News Daily – Affiliated news website offering secular news and updates from SCA’s member organizations. • Weekly Wrap Up- Weekly newsletter with the most important information of the week in an easy to digest format for the casual supporter. • Connecting to You and the Secular Movement • Facilitating Movement Unity – the Secular Coalition plays an integral role in bringing together the most powerful organizations in the secular and nontheistic movements to work on shared goals and toward a common purpose. • Social Media – Connects supporters and movement organizations via social media networks, keeping the community updated. • Communications – The Secular Coalition blogs, press releases and news updates feature movement leaders including Herb Silverman, president emeritus of the Secular Coalition and David Niose, president of the SCA. • Master Calendar—The only calendar featuring movement-wide events, holidays, conferences and other secular events. • Speakers- the Secular Coalition speakers at events, conferences and other movement-related events across the country. • New Exciting Initiatives— There’s always something new brewing at the SCA, such as the Model Secular Policy Guide, written by experts for legislators, providing them with accurate background, research, and model legislative language to use as a resource when legislating on secular issues.
Secular Policy Guide • With Co-Chairs Jacques Berlinerblau and Wendy Kaminer • Working with Academics, Policymakers, and Advocates • Providing Guidance to Policymakers On: • Constitutional Framework • Health and Safety • Education • Discrimination • Military Discrimination • Tax Policy • International Policy
National Secular Movement Call • Judicial Update • State Chapters • New Research • Coalition Expansion • Charity Work Thursdays at Noon ET Phone: 559-726-1300 Code: 199568 White House & Congress Secular Events Secular News United Nations Students
SCA Coalitions • CARD – Coalition Against Religious Discrimination • NCPE – National Coalition for Public Education • Coalition for Responsible Sex Education • National Advisory Board – Watching religious hospital mergers • International Family Planning Coalition • LCCR – Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights • IRF – International Religious Freedom Roundtable
State Coalitions Benefits to Coalition Work • Increased credibility • Maximized resources • Shared ideas • Mutual support • Strength in numbers
Types of Coalitions • Common cause • Developing and implementing a shared policy agenda around a common cause • Ex: respect for nonthesists, child welfare, human services, the arts, etc. • Specific Issue • Coordinating efforts on a specific issue campaign • Ex: contraception mandate, blasphemy laws, etc.
Working in Coalitions • Clear purpose/mission • To increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. • Include all stakeholders • All groups that can endorse our mission • Be sure to think beyond the “usual suspects.” • Understand limits • Not all coalition members will agree on everything all the time, and that’s okay! • Communicate • Clear communication avoids missteps • Conference calls
Building a Coalition • Identify groups that support our mission • Attend/speak at their meetings • Get permission to list them on the website • Partner with organizations, even only on a single issue • Bigger the coalition the better
Q & A Please type your questions in the chat box
Secular State Purpose • Built for state chapters to share and promote state activities with supporters, press, & local government. • As a community tool where supporters can share and discuss updates, strategy, lobbying efforts in a single place.
State Sites Overview • About • News • Resources • State and National • Training Guides and Videos • Key Issues • Supporting Groups • Events • Physical and online • Attendee Registration and communication • Recordings of past calls • Legislative Reports • Community
Secular Community • Tools for the a state chapter • Posts • Polls • Documents • Questions • Wikis • Supporting Groups • Threaded conversation on all content • Following and Notification • Natural Promotion of Content. • Future integrations with Secular.org • This is just the beginning
Leadership Roles • State leadership has the ability to add events, pages, news and more. • Further customization abilities coming with time • To apply for leadership access you may do so at http://states.secular.org/states/secular-state-leadership-application (must be logged in)
Getting Started • Getting started guide will be available on all state resource pages along with the posting of this recording
Q & A Please type your questions in the chat box
Effective Lobbying • State lobbying Strategy • Preparation • Lobbying in Action- Legislation • Lobbying in Action- Regulation • The Lobby Visit • Preparation • Requesting a Meeting • Day of the Meeting • The Meeting • Follow up • Contacting your legislator • Phone • Letter • Email • Presenting Testimony
State Lobbying Strategy Preparation • Build a coalition • Grow your list of supporters • Gather and prepare resources • Build relationships with lawmakers • Fundraising • Monitor legislation and regulation • Opposition research
State Lobbying Strategy Lobbying in Action • Coordinate with your organization or coalition • Opposition research on this bill/amendment • Meet with legislators • Educate • Call to Action
Lobby VisitPreparation • Know the facts • Know the history • Know the legislator • Prepare material
Lobby VisitRequesting a Meeting • Email or call the office • Scheduler is the gate keeper! • Have several dates and times ready to offer • Provide them with: • Your name and contact info • Your organization • If you are a constituent • Specific bill or issue you want to discuss
Day of the Meeting • Dress • Timing • Demeanor • Greeting • Information presentation • Decide who will be the primary speaker • Know with whom you are meeting • Meetings with staffers are just as important!
The Meeting The mission of the Secular Coalition for America is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. • Open with a thank you • Introduce the Secular Coalition and its mission • Ask if they are familiar with terms like “humanist,” “atheist,” or “secular” • The reason why I wanted to meet with you today… • Share personal experiences • Ask if they have any questions • Thank them again • Be professional and courteous
Follow Up • Thank you note • Nor more than two days later • Email is acceptable • Update if there is movement on your bill or issue • Keep up the relationship • Send any information you come across that they might find relevant their way • Become a resource they can rely on
Contacting Your LegislatorPhone Call • Know what you want to say before you call • Write down a few talking points • If possible, know the number and name of the bill before you call • Mention that you are a constituent • State your opinion clearly and quickly. • Be courteous; Thank the staff member for his or her time
Contacting Your LegislatorLetter • Show a connection • Make it personal • Keep it brief • Include a call to action • Be respectful • Be accurate and timely • Thank you • Give the Facts
Contacting Your LegislatorEmail • Similar to letter, but keep it short! • Subject line should include the word “constituent” • If no response, follow up a week later
Presenting Testimony • Format • Presentation • Committee Preparation • Hostile questions
Q & A Please type your questions in the chat box
Media & Communications • Press Releases • Media Alerts • Press Interviews • Terms to Know • Preparation • What to Say • How to Say It • Tips • Letters to the Editor • Social Media
MediaPress Releases • The best way to get out an importantannouncement. • Is this newsworthy? • How will people relate and connect?
MediaPress Releases • Relevance • Timing • Attention-getting
MediaMedia Alerts • When you need to get the word out about an event but a Press Release is too much • Description of Event • Time, place, location • Contact Info
Press InterviewsTerms to Know • “On-the-Record Interviews” • “Backgrounders” • “Off the record”
Press InterviewsPreparation • Know the official position • Impact on the organization • Stay away from attacking one group • Always be professional • 7-10 second responses • Make up an agenda
Press InterviewsWhat To Say • Share Website or contact information • Stay on message • Don’t get backed into a corner • If you do not like a question, reframe it • If you don’t know the answer to a question, be upfront • Once you have said what you want to say, stop talking