Secular Coalition for Rhode Island Monthly Conference Call

Location

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 13:00 - 13:30
Call In Details: 
Phone Number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - Rhode Island Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Wednesday, November 28 at 1pm ET

 

Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island monthly conference call!
  • The Secular Coalition for America is the only 501(c)(4) representing secular and nontheistic Americans.
  • The Secular Coalition for America is working to make sure that we are heard on Capitol Hill. We fight in Washington DC against religious privileging on a 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 Update - November Elections
  • U.S. Senate
    • Sheldon Whitehouse (D) won re-election
  • U.S. House
    • Incumbents David Cicilline (D) and James R. Langevin (D) kept their seats
  • State Senate
    • All 38 seats were up for election
    • Democratic Party gained three seats and now holds a 32-5 majority
  • State House of Representatives
    • All 75 were up for election
    • Democratic Party gained four seats and now holds an 69-6 majority

Issues/Events
  • Rhode Island to leave "Christmas" out of tree ceremony
    • "The governor has stated his position very clearly: He believes ‘holiday' is more inclusive," she said. "It's in a building paid for by all Rhode Islanders" said Spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger (full article here)
    • Bill O'Reilly weighed in,"Christmas is Christmas. It celebrates the birth of Jesus. Therefore, the word "Christmas", images of Jesus, any songs or poems or stories discussing him are appropriate under the law. Secular Progressives hate that. They don't like public displays of Jesus because Christians believe he's God."
  • Any issues or events happening in Rhode Island?

Chapter Development Status
  • Leadership
    • Executive Committee 
      • Sent Memo of Understanding out after last call
      • Co-Chair Duties: Scheduling state coalition meetings as necessary, Building relationships with local organizations and keeping them informed;  Scheduling and Coordinating trainings; Ensuring compliance with all SCA policies (listed in the chapter manual soon to be finished); Assisting with fundraising and ensuring donations are sent  to the SCA; Contact person for SCA Research and Advocacy Manager; Upholding the respectful, diplomatic, and non-partisan approach of the Secular Coalition
      • Communications Chair Duties: Official press releases; Letters to the Editor; Working with LD on action alerts; Coordinating messaging with SCA; Acting as spokesperson; Available for interviews or local speaking engagements; Draft action alerts with Leg. chair
      • Tech Chair Duties: Website updates and blog posts; Social media; Answering email; 
      • Legislative/ Policy Chair Duties: Monitoring legislation for our issues; Gatherings research; Drafting action alerts with Comm. Chair; Tailoring SCA lobbying materials to be state specific
      • Lobbying Chair Duties:  Conducting lobbying visits; Building relationships with legislators
      • 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 
      • Potential co-chairs: Christine Eldridge and Adam Miner
      • EC Members: Tony Houston and Steve Ahlquist
      • Anyone one else 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. 
  • Resources Status 
    • Website
      • RI.secular.org still under construction 
      • Temporarily: Secular.org>States>Your State>Rhode Island 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Changing call schedule in 2013
        • evening and weekend calls 
        • does January call time work? Tuesday, January 15th at 6pm
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the Rhode Island chapter page 
      • Looking into technologies to assist with online discussion 
    • Logo - viewable on Rhode Island chapter page and Facebook page 
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for Rhode Island 
    • 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
  • 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 the Rhode Island chapter page for updates
    • Like the Secular Coalition for Rhode Island Facebook page
    • Spread the word about the next conference call!

 

Next Conference Call Date and Time
  • Tuesday, January 15th at 6pm
  • 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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