Setting the Policy Agenda
The Secular Coalition for America is comprised of 20 national, voting member organizations, each of which is represented on the coalition’s Public Policy Committee that help to produce our legislative agenda. The Secular Coalition also convenes monthly meetings of all the lobbyists and lead attorneys from our respective member organizations to share resources and collaborate on our shared goals.
In addition to individual meetings with congressional offices, our presence in Washington enables us to host events on Capitol Hill, called congressional briefings, where we can convene experts, lawmakers and their staff to learn about a particular issue or legislation to help advance issues that are most important to our supporters.
Our annual Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit brings constituents from across the country to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Attendees are briefed on the most pertinent legislation and issues of the day, trained on how to advocate effectively, paired with attendees from their districts and their state, all before marching to Capitol Hill for pre-scheduled meetings in the Senate and House of Representatives. Advocates are then coached on how to engage and build relations with their Members’ offices on the local level throughout the year.
Our Secular Awards Dinner gives attendees the opportunity to hear directly from and show appreciation for our champions on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the country. At this dinner, we present our National Visibility Award to lawmakers who have brought visibility to the nontheist community, and our National Respect Award to lawmakers who have demonstrated respect for our community and our secular values.
At our 2018 Secular Awards Dinner, Rep. Jared Huffman made a historic announcement that a Congressional Freethought Caucus had been established. Congressional Caucuses are formal interest groups made of Members of Congress with shared goals, interests, or ideology. The Secular Coalition for America is honored to work with the Congressional Freethought Caucus to bring visibility to nontheists, promote secular values, and advance legislation that protects the secular character of our government.
The Secular Coalition for America's Model Secular Policy Guide has been endorsed by its 20 national member organizations that represent the depth and breadth of the Secular Movement. The guide covers a multitude of issues affecting the lives of secular and nontheistic Americans such as health policy, science, education, tax exemptions, religiously-based discrimination, and the treatment of nontheists in the military, and much more. Each issue is accompanied by a policy recommendation for lawmakers interested in crafting policies that will uphold the separation of church and state.
The Model Secular Policy Guide is designed to help educate legislators and their staff on the views of secular and nontheistic Americans on pertinent issues and includes historical background and legal precedent.