Secular Coalition for New Jersey Monthly Conference Call


Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 19:00 - 19:30
Call In Details: 
Phone Number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - New Jersey Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Thursday, November 29th at 2pm ET


Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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
    • Bob Menendez (D) won re-election 
  • U.S. House
    • New Jersey lost one seat after the 2010 census and elected 12 representatives
    • The Democratic party now holds 6 seats and the Republican Party holds 6 seats


  • New Jersey State Legislature
    • Currently in session
    • A 2201  
      • Authorizes certified celebrants to solemnize marriages and civil unions
      • Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee - 05/03/2012
      • Positive legislation we can support!
  • Any other issues or events?

Chapter Development Status

  • Chapter questions
    • Whether NJ will be responsible for drafting own bylaws
      • No, chapters are part of the SCA, not separate independent organizations, they are covered under SCA bylaws
      • Benefits of this:
        • Don’t need to file any tax documentation
        • Covered under our C4 tax exemption
        • SCA provides the resources you need to be effective lobbyists
    • Expectations for New Jersey's activities and specific guidance on what the SCA will provide to assist in those efforts 
      • Build a coalition of groups in New Jersey and build a listerv of supporters
        • SCA will send out alerts to New Jersey residents on our list and provide email services to help the chapters reach their supporters
      • Build resources to assist in lobbying
        • SCA provides a website, state legislation tracking service, gathered reserach, policy papers, guides and trainings in the areas of organizational development, media, lobbying, and fundraising
      • Build relationships with lawmakers
        • SCA provides a respected name and tools to show the professional nature of our organization (business cards, brochures, policy documents)
      • These resources will be available to chapters that have the Memo of Understanding signed
      • Fundraising
        • The SCA is asking the chapters to help us keep the lights on and keep providing the states with these resources by talking with potential donors and asking for their support
  • Leadership
    • Executive Committee 
      • 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
      • Chair positions can be combined or devided as needed
      • Interested individuals: Steve N., Stephen S., Paul S. G. Shaun M., Alex H. (need email), Bisi A., Gary F. 
      • If you would prefer your name not be publicly released, please let me know.
      • 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]
    • Memo of Understanding
  • Resources Status 
    • Website
      • should be up in the next couple weeks
        • State legislation tracker will be integrated into the website
      • Temporarily:>States>Your State>New Jersey 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Changing call schedule in 2013
        • Next conference call is Tuesday, January 29th at 7pm
        • Does this date and time work better for everyone?
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the New Jersey chapter page 
    • Logo available! on the chapter page at and on the Facebook page
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for New Jersey 
    • 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
    • Identifying leadership and putting Executive Committee members in contact with each other
  • What you can do:
    • Email [email protected] if interested in leadership or volunteering
    • Sign up on our website to receive info and updates
    • Check out New Jersey’s state chapters page for updates
    • Like the Facebook page
    • Spread the word about the next conference call!


Next Conference Call Date and Time
  • Tuesday, January 29th at 7pm
  • Same call in number and code


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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