Secular Coalition for Montana Monthly Conference Call


Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 16:00 - 16:30
Call In Details: 
Phone Number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - Montana Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Tuesday, November 27 at 2pm MT


Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Montana chapter page at
  • 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 Montana 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
    • Jon Tester (D) won re-election
  • U.S. House
    • Steven Daines (R) won the seat previously held by Denny Rehberg (R)
  • Governor
    • Steve Bullock and John E. Walsh (D) won
  • State Senate
    • 26 seats were up for election
    • Democratic Party gained 1 seat, but the Republican Party maintained a 27-23 majority
  • State House of Representatives
    • All 100 seats are up for election
    • Republican Party lost 5 seats, but still holds a 63-37 majority

  • Montana did not have a regular legislative session in 2012
  • 2013 Session begins January 7th 
    • 2013 introduced bills
    • 2013 unintoduced bills to keep an eye on:
      • LC0034 - Bullying bill (watch out for religious exemption)
      • Multiple laws on revising school funding (watch out for vouchers)
    • 2011 bills to watch out for in upcoming 2013 session:
    • SR 1: A prayer will come before floor action on the senate agenda. (2011)
    • HB 153/30: Would have allowed for faith-based health-care “sharing ministries” in Montana and created a state income-tax credit for payments to a ministry or its members, which would not be regulated by the insurance commissioner. (2011)
    • HB 227: Would have allowed daycare students to be exempt from immunizations based on religious reasons. (2011)
  • Any issues or events happening in Montana?

Chapter Development Status
  • Leadership
    • Executive Committee 
      • Flexible to availability and strengths of individuals who want to get involved
      • 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 
      • Interested individuals: Louis Kronenberger, Ian Cameron, Cara Cameron, Joel Thompson, Jon Salmonson
      • Anyone one else interested? Email [email protected]
    • 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  [email protected]
  • Resources Status 
    • Website
      • still under construction 
      • Temporarily:>States>Your State>Montana 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Changing call schedule in 2013
        • evening and weekend calls 
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the Montana chapter page 
      • Looking into technologies to assist with online discussion 
    • Logo - viewable on Montana chapter page and Facebook page 
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for Montana 
    • 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 
      • National Secular Calendar – 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
    • Putting Executive Committee members in contact with each other
  • What you can do:
    • Email Kelly if interested in leadership or volunteering
    • Sign up on our website to receive info and updates
    • Check out the Montana chapter page for updates
    • Like the Secular Coalition for Montana Facebook page
    • Spread the word!


Contact Information
  • Kelly Damerow
  • Research and Advocacy Manager, Secular Coalition for America
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 202-299-1091 ext. 204
Thank You!
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