Frequently Asked Questions

General

When is the 2018 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit?

The 2018 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Our third annual Secular Awards Dinner will be held the evening of Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Who may attend the Lobby Day?

The Secular Coalition for America welcomes all secular and nontheistic Americans to the Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit, as well as our religious allies who support our mission. You may come by yourself and meet others from your home area who you will be in groups for your lobby visits.  Families and groups are also welcome. Teens and other young adults are highly encouraged to attend and make their voices heard. Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older at all times.

What will the Lobby Day include?

Registration will include complimentary breakfast and lunch, lobby training session, lobby materials, and pre-scheduled meetings with congressional offices. The training will include instructions on general lobbying and on the specific topics of the afternoon lobbying visits to Congressional offices.

 

How much does the Lobby Day cost?

Registration for our 2018 Lobby Day is $49.99 and tickets to the Secular Awards Dinner are $150. However, if you register by April 1, you can receive 25% off by using the promo code SECULARSUMMIT18.

Please note that tickets to our Secular Award Dinner must be purchased separately.

 

Where will the Lobby Day be held?

The 2018 Lobby Day & Secular Values Summit will be held on Capitol Hill.

The Secular Coalition has secured a discounted room rate for Lobby Day attendees at the Capitol Skyline Hotel ($239 per night). To secure your discounted room rate, be sure to book your stay using this link by April 3.

Capitol Skyline Hotel
10 “I” (eye) Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 488-7500

http://www.capitolskyline.com/

Why should I attend the Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit?

In-person lobbying from constituents is still the most effective method for reaching elected officials. Because the representation of secular and nontheistic Americans is still very low, we need as many secular and nontheistic people to speak up and tell their elected officials that they are voting, paying attention to the issues, and showing who they are. Only by participating in the system can we hope to change it.

Additionally, our Secular Values Summit, which will take place in conjunction with Lobby Day is an opportunity to hear directly from lawmakers, thought leaders, and others who have a direct impact on shaping policy in D.C. in an intimate setting on the issues important to the nontheistic and secular community.

What is the weather like in D.C. in April?

Spring weather fully arrives in the Nation’s Capital during April as the temperatures steadily rise throughout the month. Early in April, the morning low temperatures tend to be low to mid-40s with a few mornings dipping into the mid-30s while the afternoon highs tend to be in the low 60’s. A medium-weight jacket will be needed for the colder days early this month, however, a sweater or a light windbreaker may be all that is required by month’s end to enjoy the city.

We’ll hold our Lobby Day rain or shine but it’s still a good idea to check the forecast a few days before the event (in case you need to pack an umbrella).

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Contact us! Email Sarah@secular.org or give us a call at 202-299-1091 (ext. 202)

I am not able to attend the Lobby Day. How else can I help?

If you are not able to attend and lend your voice, your financial support will help to ensure that we will be able to provide the highest quality experience for the secular activists who are able to make the trip to Washington DC. Other ways to get involved included signing up for Action Alerts, volunteering, or joining our Rapid Response Team.

When does registration close for the 2018 Lobby Day?

The final day to register for Lobby Day is April 17, 2018.

 

Where can I find the schedule for the 2018 Lobby Day?

The schedule for our 2018 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit is available here.

 

Lobbying

What is a “lobby day”?

A lobby day is when a group of people, united by a cause, legislation, or identity, visit en masse many congressional offices in one day in order to show their strength, commitment, and voting concerns.

Will I actually get to meet my Representative or Senator?

We can’t guarantee that you will meet with your Representative or Senator directly. If you sign up to attend, we will do our best to secure a meeting with the staff of your Representative and at least one of your Senators.

Can I choose the issue I lobby on?

For your voice to have the largest impact we recommend lobbying on issues Congress is currently debating. This year we are lobbying in support of the Do No Harm Act and against the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).

What if I have never lobbied before?

No problem! The staff of the Secular Coalition for America will teach you everything you need to know in order to lobby in the afternoon. Because you will be lobbying in teams, you can be active (by taking a speaking role) or be more supportive (by taking a listening role) in the lobby meetings. We want you to enjoy the experience. It is important that you participate at a level you are comfortable with!

If you’ve never attended a lobby day before and would like to see what one looks like, be sure to watch our promotional video “Freedom Of and Freedom From: Fighting for Secular America” which was filmed at our 2017 Lobby Day.

What do I wear to lobby?

We ask that everyone dress business casual, which means nice pants, shirts, and shoes for the gentlemen, and for the ladies: nice pants or dresses and skirts with blouses or nice shirts. For everyone: no open-toe shoes, flip-flops, or crocs; no baseball hats; no jeans; and no T-shirts.

Do I have to attend the training if I have attended other lobby trainings?

Yes, we do ask that everyone who is attending the Lobby Day attend the training in the morning. We will be training everyone on the specifics of the topics that we would like you to raise during the congressional visits. We need to make sure that we are all carrying the same message.

If you have previous lobbying experience, you can assist those who are new to lobbying and take a more active role in the congressional meetings.