Frequently Asked Questions

General

When is the 2019 SCA Lobby Day and Evening Reception on the Hill?

The 2019 SCA Lobby Day will be held on Friday, September 27, 2019.

Our fourth annual Evening Reception on the Hill will be held the evening of Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Who may attend SCA Lobby Day?

The Secular Coalition for America welcomes all secular and nontheistic Americans to the SCA Lobby Day and Annual Evening Reception, 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 2019 SCA 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 SCA Lobby Day cost?

Registration for our 2019 Lobby Day is $60 and tickets to the Evening Reception are $75. We are also offering a student discount rate for Lobby Day of $30.

Please note that tickets to our Evening Reception on the Hill must be purchased separately.

 

Why should I attend SCA Lobby Day and the Evening Reception?

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 Evening Reception on the Hill, which will take place in conjunction with SCA 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 September?

Fall weather fully arrives in the Nation’s Capital during September as the temperatures steadily drop throughout the month. Late in September, the morning temperatures tend to be in the low to high-50s with a few mornings dipping into the low-60s while the afternoon highs tend to be in the low 80s or high 70s.

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 SCA 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 2019 Lobby Day?

Registration for the 2019 Secular Lobby Day has closed. We look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Where can I find the schedule for the 2019 Lobby Day?

Head to lobbyday.us/agenda for the full 2019 Secular Lobby Day schedule.

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 focused on expanding access to secular addiction recovery options. You can find more information on what we are fighting for here.

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 SCA 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.

Transportation

How do I get to the SCA Lobby Day venue?

Many Secular Lobby Day guests will be staying at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. The closest Metrorail stations are the McPherson Square Station (0.25 mi) on the Orange and Blue lines, the Farragut North Station (0.51 mi) on the Red line and the Mt. Vernon Square – 7th Street Convention Center Station (0.59 mi) on the Yellow and Green Lines.

Lobby Day will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building.

There are three subway stations closest to Rayburn:

  • Capitol South – Located at First Street between C and D Streets, SE
  • Federal Center, SW – Located at the southwest corner of Third and D Streets, SW
  • Union Station – Located at First Street, NW, and Massachusetts Avenue

For complete directions from the Washington Plaza Hotel to the Rayburn House Office Building, visit here, and to get more information on hotel accommodations, visit here.