Secular Coalition for Maine Monthly Conference Call

Location

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 13:00 - 13:30
Call In Details: 
Phone Number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - Maine Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Thursday, October 11th at 1pm ET

 

Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Maine 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 Maine 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 Update - November Elections
  • U.S. Senate
    • The election will fill the Class 1 Senate seat, which is currently held by Olympia Snowe (R). First elected in 1994, Snowe will not be seeking re-election in 2012 and will instead retire
    • Candidates: Cynthia Dill (D), state senator; Charles Summers (R), current Secretary of State; and Angus King (I) former governor of Maine
    • Political reports list this race as a toss up, but recent polls favor King
  • U.S. House
    • Both of the 2 Maine seats in the U.S. House are up for election
    • Both seats are held by the Democratic Party, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, both running for re-election
  • State Senate
    • All 35 seats are up for election
    • Republican Party holds a 19-15 majority
    • Possible majority change
  • State House of Representatives
    • All 151 seats are up for election
    • Republican Party holds an 77-71 majority
    • Possible majority change

 

Issues/Events
  • Ballot Measures:
    • Question 1 - to overturn a voter-approved 2009 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state
    • Latest opinion poll shows 53% voting yes, 43% voting no, and 4% undecided
    • Protect Marriage Maine has a Church Kit laying out the IRS rules for churches and pastors engaging in "political activities"
    • Reports say that the Catholic Church is not conducting IRS prohibited activities like they did in 2009

Chapter Development Status

  • 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 individuals: Ryan D'Alessandro, Michael Hawkins, Dick Springer, Nancy Glista, Jim Perley, Doug Bunker, Bernard Kellish (need email)
      • 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  Kelly@secular.org
  • Resources Status 
    • Website
      • ME.secular.org still under construction 
      • Temporarily: Secular.org>States>Your State>Maine 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Initial organizing calls - Focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, spreading the word about the calls and building momentum 
      • After Official recognition - Educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations. 
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the Maine chapter page 
      • Looking into technologies to assist with online discussion 
        • Send recommendations for communication/organizing technologies to Kelly@secular.org
        • Will still have call in November
        • Starting new system in 2013
    • Logo - available soon
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for Maine 
    • 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
    • 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 Maine’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 8th at 1pm ET
  • Second Thursday of the month
  • 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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