Secular Coalition to organize chapters in all 50 states by end of year
The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is excited to announce the implementation schedule for the state chapters planned to launch nationwide this year.
The Secular Coalition for America—a lobbying organization representing nontheistic Americans and advocating for a strong separation of religion and government—will launch chapters in 48 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico by the end of 2012. Two state affiliates, the Secular Coalition for Arizona and Secular Coalition for Alabama, are already operational – the SCA has elected to adopt a chapter model, instead of the affiliate model, for the subsequent 48 state groups.
“Some of the most egregious violations of church state separation are being promoted and passed at the state level, and we absolutely must act to stop it,” said Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “There are 40 million Americans who don’t identify with any religion, but our political influence has been limited because we have not been organized. This year, that changes.”
The Secular Coalition, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has traditionally focused advocacy efforts on federal legislation. The SCA will continue to lobby at the federal level, while state chapters will lobby at the state level.
State chapters will receive websites, as well as training, promotional and educational materials. Chapters will be trained, organized and supported by the Secular Coalition for America.
Initial Organizing Call Schedule:
- Phase 1 (June 1 – 22) – Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia
- Phase 2 (June 25 – July 13) – Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas
- Phase 3 (July 16 – August 3) – Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington
- Phase 4 (August 6 – 17) - Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin
- Phase 5 (August 20 – 31) – Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, Wyoming
Rogers said lobbying at the state and local level is important on several fronts and from a long term strategic perspective.
“In our current U.S. Congress, 38 percent of Representatives held local office first,” said Rogers. “When we get to law makers at the local level, not only are we going to help curb some of the most egregious legislation we’re seeing, but we are also building relationships and working to educate legislators on our issues, before they even get to Washington.”
Official call dates and call-in phone numbers will be announced at secular.org/about/states closer to the beginning of each phase.