Secular Coalition for West Virginia Monthly Conference Call

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 13:00 - 13:30
Call In Details: 
530-881-1400 code: 978895

Secular Coalition for America - West Virginia Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Wendesday, November 15th at 1pm ET


Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 
  • U.S. Senate
    •  Joe Manchin (D) won re-election
  • U.S. House of Representatives
    • West Virginia's 3 seats in the U.S. house were up for election in November
    • All incumbents won re-election: David McKinley (R), Nick Rahall (D), and Shelley Moore Capito (R)
  • Governor 
    • Earl Ray Tomblin, Democrat, won re-election
  • West Virginia State Legislature
    • Meet in capital city of Charleston
    • West Virginia State Senate
      • 34 senators serving 4 year terms
      • 17 seats were up for election 
      • Democratic Party lost 3 seats, but still maintains control with a 25-9 majority
    • West Virginia House of Delegates
      • 100 members serving 2 year terms
      • All 100 seats up for election
      • Democratic Party lost 11 seats, but still maintains control with a 54-46 majority

  • Any issues or events we should know?

Chapter Model Overview

  • 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 Secular Coalition
    • Chapters are part of the Secular Coalition
      • 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
    • West Virginia Lobbying Rules:
      • LOBBYIST  any individual employed by a lobbying firm or who is otherwise employed or contracts for economic consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, to influence legislation and government actions. 
      • EXCEPTION:  Persons who lobby without compensation or other consideration for acting as lobbyists, and, whose total expenditures in connection with such lobbying do not exceed $150.00 during any calendar year
  • Chapters are representatives of the Secular Coalition for America
    • 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.
    • As lobbyists we must be the diplomats of the secular movement, always act respectfully and professional
    • We believe secular values are American values, we are nonpartisan and want to work with everyone
  • 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
    • Interested Individuals: Will D. and  Jeff S.
    • 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 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.
  • Secular Coalition’s Support for the Chapters
    • Conference Calls
      • Changing call schedule in 2013
      • Adding online communication tool
      • Agendas available online
      • Call replays available online
    • Bill Tracking
      •  CQ Statetrack
    • Website
      • Temporarily:>States>Your State>West Virginia
      • subdomain
    • Use of our logo and name Secular Coalition for West Virginia
    • Email Address for Chair/Co-Chairst
    • Gmail Group Mailing List for leadership to discuss which issues they should address and to coordinate action
    • Facebook Page
      • Please "like" and share Secular Coaliton for West Virginia
  • 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 Secular Coalition is working on:
    • Getting resources in place
    • Researching technologies to assist in chapter coordination
    • Outreach!
    • Identifying leadership and putting Executive Committee interested individuals 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 West Virginia’s state chapters page for updates
    • Like the 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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