2017 Frequently Asked Questions

General

When is the 2017 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit?

The 2017 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The second annual Secular Awards Dinner will be held the evening of Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Tickets for the Secular Awards Dinner are not included in the Lobby Day registration.

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 includes 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.

The Secular Awards Dinner on the evening of June 14, is not included in the Lobby Day registration. At this exclusive event, we’ll honor those lawmakers and activists who have stood up for secular Americans.

How much does the Lobby Day cost?

Prices for the 2017 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit are:

  • Early bird rate: $49 a person (ends 5/17/17)
  • Regular registration rate: $69 (registration deadline is 6/8/17)
  • Student rate: $25

Registration includes: breakfast and lunch on June 15, lobby training from professional lobbyists, congressional meetings scheduled on your behalf, printed materials and resources to bring to congressional meetings, networking opportunities with secular activists and more.

 

Where will the Lobby Day be held?

The 2017 Lobby Day & Secular Values Summit will be held at the Washington Court Hotel in the Springwood Room on the lower lobby level.

The Secular Coalition has secured a discounted room rate for Lobby Day attendees of $269 a night. The final date to register a room at the discounted rate is Wednesday, May 24, 2017. To secure your discounted rate use this link, block name:  Secular Coalition for America and group code: SCA0617

Washington Court Hotel 
525 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington DC,
District of Columbia20001
202-628-2100
http://www.washingtoncourthotel.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 June?

June is a nice time of year to explore the nation’s capital as the weather is mostly comfortable to warm. Temperatures are usually between the low 60sF to the low 80sF. 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 2017 Lobby Day?

The final day to register for Lobby Day is June 8, 2017.

 

Where can I find the schedule for the 2017 Lobby Day?

The schedule for our 2017 Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit is available here and will be updated continuously as speakers are announced.

 

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. We pre-select the most timely issues for which we will prepare lobbying materials and handouts.

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!

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.

Transportation

How do I get to the Summit & Lobby Day venue?

Lobby Day will be held at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. The closest Metro (subway) stop is at Union State which is on the red line.