Secular Coalition for Massachusetts Monthly Conference Call


Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 14:00 - 14:30

SCA Massachusetts Chapter Organizing Conference Call

Call-in number: (530) 881-1400      Participant Access Code: 978895

Thursday, August 9th at 2pm ET


  • Welcome message
    • Who is here and not here that needs to be here?
    • Explanation of conference call style and recording

§  No one is required to speak up, but there will be opportunities to do so.

o   The Secular Coalition for America is the only 501(c)(4) representing secular and nontheistic Americans. We are based in Washington DC to fight religious privileging on a federal level, but the most egregious violations of separation of church and state are occurring on the state level.

o   The Secular Coalition for America is forming state chapters across the country. Our chapters will bring together secular Americans in each state to lobby on secular issues.

  • Overview of the State Chapter Model
    • 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 government officials.
    • The Chapter is part of the Secular Coalition for America

§  Covered under our C4 tax exemption

  • Don't need to file any tax documentation
  • Don't need to fundraise
  • 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

§  As lobbyists we must be the diplomats of the secular movement

  • Nonpartisan, respectful, diplomatic
  • We believe secular values are American values
    • Once your state chapter is organized, the leadership and a representative of the SCA will sign a memo of understanding officially recognizing the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and giving the group access to our resources (to be discussed in more depth later)
    • 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.
    • Purpose - accomplish its mission through cooperation between local groups and coordinated state lobbying activities.
    • Our first step in forming these chapters is our monthly conference calls.
  • Conference Calls
    • Initial organizing calls

§  Focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, discussing how the legislature in Massachusetts operates and the best ways to meet the needs of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts

o   After Official recognition

§  Future monthly calls will become a way to educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations.

  • Resources
    • CQ Statetrack - State Legislation and Regulation Tracking Software

§  Follows legislation and regulation on secular issues

  • When introduced or any movement

§  Full bill text and details

  • What step of the legislative process the bill is at
  • Votes
  • Original versions of the bill and amendments

§  Can create customizable reports

§  Committee hearings calendar

§  Automatic web publishing

o   Website


  • Subdomain of
  • Same template
  • Automatically updates with Massachusetts info, but can be manually updated as well

§>States>Your State> Massachusetts

  • Conference Call dates, time, numbers
  • Call replays
  • Agendas
  • Sign up to receive alerts
    • Facebook Page

§  Please "like" the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts

  • Issues/Events:
  • New Business:
    • Executive Committee

§  We are currently working on getting all the resources in place

§  Interested Individuals

§  In anyone else has any interest in leadership please email me, [email protected]

o   Volunteers 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 [email protected].

  • Kelly Damerow
  • Research and Advocacy Manager, Secular Coalition for America
  • [email protected]
  • P: 202-299-1091 ext.204



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