Secular Coalition for Wyoming Monthly Conference Call

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 14:00 - 14:30
Call In Details: 
530-881-1400 code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - Wyoming Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Wendesday, October 17th at Noon MT

 

Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Wyoming 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 Wyoming 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 
  • Capital city is Cheyenne
  • Governor Matt Mead
    • Republican, first elected in 2010
  • Wyoming State Legislature
    • In 2012, the State Senate was in session from February 13 through March 9
    • Wyoming State Senate
      • 30 senators serving 4 year terms
      • 15 seats up for election in November
      • Controlled by the Republican Party with a 26-4 marjoity
    • Wyoming House of Representatives
      • 30 members serving 2 year terms
      • All 60 seats up for election in November
      • Controlled by the Republican Party with a 50-10 marjoity
  • U.S. Senate
    • The election will fill the Class 1 Senate seat, which is currently held by John Barrasso (R). First appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2007, Barrasso is running for re-election in 2012.
    • Political reports predict Barrasso will keep his seat against challenger Time Chesut (D)
  • U.S. House of Representatives
    • Wyoming's 1 seat in the U.S. house are up for election in November
    • Currently held by the Cynthia Lummis (R), running for re-election

 

Issues/Events
  • Constitutional Amendment A
    • Gets around the HHS Contraception Mandate
    • Ballot Text: "The adoption of this amendment will provide that the right to make health care decisions is reserved to the citizens of the state of Wyoming. It permits any person to pay and any health care provider to receive direct payment for services. The amendment permits the legislature to place reasonable and necessary restrictions on health care consistent with the purposes of the Wyoming Constitution and provides that this state shall act to preserve these rights from undue governmental infringement."
  • 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 Secular Coalition
    • Chapters are part of the Secular Coalition
      • 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
      • Wyoming Lobbying Rules: LOBBY to attempt to influence legislation
      • Lobbying Registration Information: 
  • Chapters are representatives of the Secular Coalition for America
    • 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, always act respectfully and professional
    • We believe secular values are American values, we are nonpartisan and want to work with everyone
  • Fundraising
    • Fundraising challenges prevent chapter growth
    • Secular Coalition will do all the fundraising and provide all resources the chapter needs
    • Donations will go to the Secular Coalition for the benefit of the state chapters
  • Official Chapter Recognition
    • Once your state chapter is organized, the executive committee and a representative of the Secular Coalition 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.
  • Secular Coalition’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>Wyoming
      • Conference Call dates, time, numbers
      • Call replays and Agendas
      • Sign up to receive alerts
      • WY.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 Wyoming
    • 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 admin, 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 Secular Coalition is doing until the next call:
    • Getting resources in place
    • Researching technologies to assist in chapter coordination
    • Outreach
    • Identifying leadership and putting Executive Committee interested individuals 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 Wyoming’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 21st at Noon MT
  • 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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