Secular Coalition for Oregon Monthly Conference Call


Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 16:00 - 16:30
Call In Details: 
Phone Number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America Oregon Chapter
Initial Organizing Conference Call Agenda
Call-in number: (530) 881-1400      Participant Access Code: 978895
Tuesday, November 13th  at 4:00 pm ET/ 1:00 pm PT

  • 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.
    • Agenda available at state page.
  • Thank you for joining us for this historic event. The inaugural Secular Coalition for Oregon monthly conference call!
  • Despite the fact that there are tens of millions of nontheistic Americans, we remain one of the most marginalized groups in the country. 
  • 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.
  • Our chapters will bring together secular Americans in each state to lobby on secular issues.
State Government/Election Update
  • Capital city is Salem
  • Governor
    • John Kitzhaber, Democrat elected in 2010
  • U.S. House
    • All incumbents kept their seats
  • Oregon Legislative Assembly
    • Oregon State Senate
      • 14 of the 30 seats were up for election
      • Party split remained the same, Democratic Party holds a 16-14 majority
    • Oregon House of Representatives
    • All 60 seats were up for election
    • Democratic Party picked up 4 seats in the previously split House and now holds a 34-26 majority
  • Does anyone know any legislation or regulation in Oregon we should be watching?

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.
  • Relationship to the SCA
    • Chapters are part of the SCA
      • Don't need to file any tax documentation
      • Covered under our C4 tax exemption
      • 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
      • Same 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.
      • Similar Purpose - accomplish its mission through cooperation between local groups and coordinated state lobbying activities.
    • Chapters are representatives of the SCA
      • As lobbyists we must be the diplomats of the secular movement
      • Nonpartisan, respectful, diplomatic
      • We believe secular values are American values
    • Fundraising
      • Fundraising challenges prevent chapter growth
      • SCA will do all the fundraising and provide all resources the chapter needs
      • Donations will go to the SCA for the benefit of the state chapters
    • Official Chapter Recognition
      • Once your state chapter is organized, the executive committee and a representative of the SCA will sign a memo of understanding officially recognizing the Secular Coalition for Oregon and giving the group access to our resources.
  • 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
  • Oregon Lobbying Rules:
    • Lobbying Registration Information: Registration is required when lobbying activity exceeds one of the following thresholds:
    • 1. You have engaged in lobbying activities for 24 hours in one calendar quarter.
    • 2. You have spent $100 on lobbying activities in one calendar quarter.
    • Cost: Free (must register every other year)
  • 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 me [email protected].
  • Database
    • Sign up to receive action alerts to be part of a grassroots campaign when particular issues arise. Sign up online here.
SCA's Support for the Chapters
  • Conference Calls
    • Initial organizing calls
    • Focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, discussing how the legislature in Oregon operates and the best ways to meet the needs of the Secular Coalition for Oregon
    • After Official recognition
    • Future monthly calls will become a way to educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations.
    • Agendas available online
    • Call replays available online
  • Bill Tracking
    • CQ Statetrack
    • Full bill text and details
    • Committee hearings calendar
    • Customizable reports
    • Automatic web publishing
  • Website
    • Temporarily:>States>Your State>Oregon
    • Conference Call dates, time, numbers
    • Call replays and Agendas
    • Sign up to receive alerts
    • subdomain
    • Uses our template, but you will be able to update information
    • Technical set-up work still needs to be done, hope to have up soon
  • Use of our logo and name Secular Coalition for Oregon
  • Email Address for Chair/Co-Chairs
  • Executive Committee Chair's name at
  • Gmail Group Mailing List
    • For leadership to discuss which issues they should address and to coordinate action
  • Facebook Page
    • Set up for each state
    • Will add leadership as admins
    • Can schedule events
  • 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

What the SCA is doing until the next call:
  • Coordinating the lobbying needs of Oregon with best practices in organizational development and lobbying to create the best structure for Oregon
  • Outreach

What you can do:
  • Contact us if interested in leadership
  • Sign up on our website to receive info and updates
  • Like the facebook page
  • Check out your state chapters page for updates

My 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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