Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions that are not answered in this FAQ, please contact the Secular Coalition for America by emailing [email protected]
When is the Lobby for Reason? (back to top)
The Lobby Day for Reason is being held on Friday, March 23, 2012 (the day before the Reason Rally on the National Mall). The lobbying traning will begin at 8:30 AM and the final lobbying visits will wrap up around 4:30 PM at the offices of your Senators and Representatives.
What is a "lobby day"? (back to top)
A lobby day is when a group of people, united by a cause, legislation, or identity, visit en masse many Congressional offices in one day in order to show their strength, commitment, and voting concerns.
Who may attend the Lobby Day for Reason? (back to top)
The Secular Coalition for America welcomes all secular and nontheistic Americans to the Lobby Day for Reason. You may come by yourself and be placed with others from your district. Families are also welcome. Teens and other young adults are also encouraged to attend and make their voices heard. We ask that those under 17 and under note their age on the registration form and also the name of an adult 18 or older who will also be attending the lobby day. More than one teen 17 and under may attend under the supervision of an adult 18 or over. For questions about teens and children attending, please email the staff.
What will the Lobby Day for Reason include? (back to top)
The morning will include 2.5 hours of training on general lobbying and on the specific topics of the afternoon lobbying visits to Congressional offices.
After lunch (which will be provided), you will head out in lobbying teams (which will be assigned based on your home address) to visit the offices of your Representative and at least one of your Senator's offices.
How much does the Lobby Day for Reason cost? (back to top)
The Lobby Day for Reason is FREE! We want as many people as possible to be able to visit the offices of their Representatives and Senators to lobby on the important issues facing our nation. You will be provided with all of the materials you will need to lobby (position papers, informational packets, etc.) as well as snacks and lunch.
Where will the Lobby Day for Reason be held? (back to top)
The lobbying training will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW. The two closest stops on the Washington, D.C. Metro are Judiciary Square and Union Station. The Secular Coalition for America strongly recommends that you take the Metro in to downtown Washington, D.C. because traffic is very heavy in the morning and parking can be extremely difficult to find. Additional directions can be found on the Hyatt Regency's website. For more information on navigating the Metro, DC’s subway system, visit www.wmata.com.
Why should I attend the Lobby Day for Reason? (back to top)
In-person lobbying from constituents is still the most effective method for reaching elected officials. Because the representation of secular and nontheistic Americans is still very low, we need as many secular and nontheistic people to speak up and tell their elected officials that they are voting, paying attention to the issues, and showing who they are. Only be participating in the system that is sometimes working against our communities' rights can we hope to change it.
Will I actually get to meet my Representative or Senator?(back to top)
We can't guarantee that you will meet with your Representative or Senator directly. If you sign up to attend, we will do our best to secure a meeting with the staff of your Representative and at least one of your Senators. However, we may not be able to accommodate everyone who signs up. This certainly would not prevent you from visiting the offices of your Congressional Delegation on your own after you finish your scheduled lobbying visits.
What if I have never lobbied before? (back to top)
No problem! The staff of the Secular Coalition for America will teach you everything you need to know in order to lobby in the afternoon. Because you will be lobbying in teams, you can be active (by taking a speaking role) or be more supportive (by taking a listening role) in the lobbying. We want you to enjoy the experience. It is important that you participate at a level you are comfortable with!
What do I wear to lobby? (back to top)
We ask that everyone dress business casual, which means nice pants, shirts, and shoes for the gentlemen, and for the ladies: nice pants or dresses and skirts with blouses or nice shirts. For everyone: no open-toe shoes, flip-flops, or crocs; no baseball hats; no jeans; and T-shirts.
Please watch the forecast--March in DC can be beautiful and sunny or cold and rainy, so also dress with the weather in mind as you will be walking across the Capitol grounds.
What if I have attended other lobby trainings? Do I have to attend the training for the Lobby Day for Reason? (back to top)
Yes, we do ask that everyone who is attending the Lobby Day for Reason attend the training in the morning. We will be training everyone on the specifics of the topics that we would like you to raise during the Congressional visits. We need to make sure that we are all carrying the same message.
If you have previous lobbying experience, you can assist those who are new to lobbying and take a more active role in the Congressional meetings.
I am not able to attend the Lobby Day for Reason. How else can I help? (back to top)
The Secular Coalition for America is coordinating this lobbying day to give as many secular and nontheistic Americans a chance to speak up as possible. For that reason, we are providing the training, food, supplies, and arranging the meetings for free. If you are not able to attend and lend your voice, your financial support will help to ensure that we will be able to provide the highest quality experience for the secular activists who are able to make the trip to Washington DC. Please consider joining one of our Secular Societies (listed on our Donate page).