Secular Coalition for Washington Monthly Conference Call

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


Secular Coalition for America - Washington Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Tuesday, October 16th at 1pm PT


Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Washington 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 Washington 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
    • Senator Maria Cantwell running for re-election
    • Democrat, first elected in 2000
    • Predicted to win
  • U.S. House
    • All 10 seats in the U.S. House are up for election
    • The Democratic Party holds 5  seats and the Republican Party holds 4 seats
    • Washington gained one seat after the 2010 census and will elect 10 representatives
  • Governor
    • Candidates:
      • Jay Inslee (D) former member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1992-2012
      • Rob McKenna (R) current Attorney General
  • State Senate
    • 26 seats up for election
      Democratic party currently holds a 27-22 majority
      Possible the chamber majority could switch
      7 incumbents retiring: 5 Democrats and 2 Republicans
  • State Assembly
    • All 98 seats up for election
      Democratic party currently holds a 56-42 majority, unlikely to change
      21 incumbents retiring: 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats


  • Referendum 74 
    • Text: "This bill allows same-sex couples to marry, applies marriage laws without regard to gender, and specifies that laws using gender-specific terms like husband and wife include same-sex spouses. After 2014, existing domestic partnership are converted to marriages, except for seniors. It preserves the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform or recognize any marriage or accommodate wedding ceremonies. The bill does not affect licensing of religious organizations providing adoption, foster-care, or child-placement."
    • Latest poll numbers show 55% for and 40% against (September 28-30, 2012 by Survey USA)
  • Initiative 1240
    • The measure would allow 40 public charter schools in the state over the next five years
    • Secular Coalition position on charter schools is the same as any school that receives government funding, that they should not promote or endorse religion.
  • Lobbying Registration Requirements: 
  • RCW 42.17A.610 Exemption from registration: The following persons and activities are exempt from registration and reporting under RCW 42.17A.600, 42.17A.615, and 42.17A.640:  (4) Persons who lobby without compensation or other consideration for acting as a lobbyist, if the person makes no expenditure for or on behalf of any member of the legislature or elected official or public officer or employee of the state of Washington in connection with such lobbying. The exemption contained in this subsection is intended to permit and encourage citizens of this state to lobby any legislator, public official, or state agency without incurring any registration or reporting obligation provided they do not exceed the limits stated above. Any person exempt under this subsection (4) may at his or her option register and report under this chapter;
  • Any issues or events?

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: Scotty Mack, John Lawhead, Doug Schafer, Shawn Stonebraker, Paula Fraser
      • Any word from: Jeremy Tranka, Mary Snow, Amanda Grant ,Christina Warren, or Karl Schranz
      • 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>Washington 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Initial organizing calls - Focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, spreading the word about the calls and building momentum, outreach!
      • After Official recognition - Educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations. 
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the Washington chapter page 
      • Looking into technologies to assist with online discussion 
        • Send recommendations for communication/organizing technologies to [email protected]
        • Will still have call in November
        • Starting new system in 2013
    • Logo - available on chapter page and facebook page
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for Washington 
    • 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
    • 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 Washington’s state chapters page for updates
    • Like the Facebook page
    • Spread the word about the next conference call!


Next Conference Call Date and Time

  • November 20th at 1pm PT
  • 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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