Secular Coalition for Oklahoma Chapter Conference Call

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 13:00 - 13:45
Call In Details: 
Call: 530-881-1400 Enter Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - Oklahoma Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Wednesday, October 10th at Noon CT

 

Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Oklahoma chapter page at secular.org
  • Explanation of conference call style and recording
    • No one is required to speak up, but there will be opportunities to do so.
  • Thank you for joining us for the Secular Coalition for Oklahoma monthly conference call!
  • The Secular Coalition for America is the only 501(c)(4) lobbying organization representing secular and nontheistic Americans.
  • Based in Washington DC, we are working to make sure that you are heard on Capitol Hill, on the federal level, yet some of the most egregious violations of separation of church and state are being promoted and passed at a state level.
  • The Secular Coalition for America is forming state chapters across the country to bring together secular and nontheistic Americans in each state to lobby on secular issues.

 

State Government 
  • Governor Mary Fallin
    • Republican elected in 2010
  • Oklahoma State Legislature
    •  Oklahoma State Senate
      • 48 senators serving 4 year terms
      • Republican Party holds a 32-16 majority
      • 24 seats up for election in November
    • Oklahoma House of Representatives
      • 101 representatives serving 2 year terms
      • Republican Party holds a 68-31 majority
      • All 101 seats up for election in November
  • U.S. House of Representatives
    • Oklahoma's 5 seats in the U.S. house are up for election in November
    • Currently 4 are held by the Republican Party, 1 held by the Democratic Party

 

Issues/Events
  • OK SR 62 - Would ban same-sex marriage
  • OK SB 1433 – Would define life as beginning at conception.
  • OK HCR 1024- Would declare the official motto of the State of Oklahoma to be "Oklahoma--In God We Trust"
  • OK HB 2460- Would expand religious refusal laws for health care providers
  • National issues sweeping the states
    • Reframing discrimination as “religious freedom” or “religious liberty” 
    • Similar authorization of discrimination, this time by medical professionals with “Rights of Conscience” bills
  • Any other issues we should know?


Chapter Model Overview

  • A Secular Coalition for America state chapter is unlike any other nontheistic state organization—it brings together interested organization and individuals for the exclusive purpose of lobbying.
  • Relationship to the SCA
    • Chapters are part of the SCA
      • Don’t need to file any tax documentation
      • Covered under our C4 tax exemption
      • Have C4 Lobbying privileges to educate and lobby on ballot initiatives, legislation, regulations, meet with policymakers, etc.
      •  
        • Cannot “electioneer” – endorse or speak out against specific candidates
      • Oklahoma Lobbying Rules: Lobbyist means any individual who is employed or retained by another for financial or other compensation to perform services that include lobbying. 
  • Chapters are representatives of the SCA
    • Same 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.
    • Similar Purpose - accomplish its mission through cooperation between local groups and coordinated state lobbying activities.
    • As lobbyists we must be the diplomats of the secular movement
    • Nonpartisan, respectful, diplomatic
    • We believe secular values are American values
  • Fundraising
    • Fundraising challenges prevent chapter growth
    • SCA will do all the fundraising and provide all resources the chapter needs
    • Donations will go to the SCA for the benefit of the state chapters
  • Official Chapter Recognition
    • Once your state chapter is organized, the executive committee and a representative of the SCA will sign a memo of understanding officially recognizing the Secular Coalition for California and giving the group access to our resources.
  • Leadership / Executive Committee
    • No set number of members or roles
    • Flexible to availability and strengths of individuals who want to get involved
    • Examples of Helpful Skills: leadership skills, familiarity with local groups, monitor legislation, conduct lobbying visits, mobilize grassroots, IT or website knowledge, social networking familiarity, comfortable speaking with press
    • Interested? Email Kelly@Secular.org
  • Volunteer List
    • Those who do not wish to be on the Executive Committee, but still want to play an active role and help out once there is work to be done, please email me Kelly@secular.org.
  • Database
    • Sign up to receive action alerts to be part of a grassroots campaign when particular issues arise. Sign up online here.
  • SCA’s Support for the Chapters
    • Conference Calls
      • Initial organizing calls focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, discussing how the legislature in California operates and the best ways to meet the needs of the Secular Coalition for California
      • Future monthly calls will become a way to educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations.
      • Agendas available online
      • Call replays available online
    • Bill Tracking
    •  CQ Statetrack
      • Full bill text and details
      • Committee hearings calendar
      • Customizable reports
      • Automatic web publishing
    • Website
      • Temporarily: Secular.org>States>Your State>Oklahoma
      • Conference Call dates, time, numbers
      • Call replays and Agendas
      • Sign up to receive alerts
      • OK.secular.org subdomain
      • Uses our template, but you will be able to update information
      • Technical set-up work still needs to be done, hope to have up soon
    • Use of our logo and name Secular Coalition for Oklahoma
    • Email Address for Chair/Co-Chairst @secular.org
    • Gmail Group Mailing List for leadership to discuss which issues they should address and to coordinate action
    • Facebook Page
      • Set up for each state
      • Will add leadership as admins
      • Can schedule events
  • Future Resources
    • Promotional resources- brochures, stickers, buttons, handouts
    • Informational resources – Research, fact sheets and policy papers
    • Trainings and Guides – media and lobby trainings and guides
  • National Resources
    • Powerpoints –available at secular.org/resources
    • National Secular Calendar – secular.org homepage
    • National Secular Update Weekly Conference Call
      • Thursdays at Noon 559-726-1300 Code 199568
Wrap Up
  • What the SCA is doing until the next call:
    • Getting resources in place
    • Researching technologies to assist in chapter coordination
    • Outreach
    • Identifying leadership and putting Executive Committee members in contact with each other
  • What you can do:
    • Email Kelly@secular.org if interested in leadership or volunteering
    • Sign up on our website to receive info and updates
    • Check out Oklahoma’s state chapters page for updates
    • Like the Facebook page
    • Spread the word about the next conference call!

 

Next Conference Call Date and Time
  • November 14th at Noon CT
  • Same call in number and code

 

Contact Information
  • Kelly Damerow
  • Research and Advocacy Manager, Secular Coalition for America
  • Email: kelly@secular.org
  • Phone: 202-299-1091 ext. 204
Thank You!
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