Read one volunteer's story about lobbying for secular rights, 
and how you can too at California Freethought Day.
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Dear Supporter,

We both know why politicians pander to the religious: it's because they don't know we even exist!

The latest survey shows that 27% of Californians are "unaffiliated (religious "nones")", and that includes atheists, agnostics, and "nothing in particular". Yet our politicians rarely hear from us.

Twice a year, the Secular Coalition for California and a handful of volunteers do something about that. In May, it's called Secular Lobby Day, and in October, it's Secular Advocacy Day.

Back in May of this year, a student at Yuba Community College attended the event for her first time. "I've always thought of lobbying as a really difficult task for some reason, but it turned out to be much more enjoyable than I had anticipated." wrote Kaeleigh Pontif, now a volunteer for the Secular Coalition for California.

We asked Kaeleigh to write about her experience, and we'd like to share that with you:
As a secular American I often feel marginalized by society and the laws by which it is governed. However, the Secular Coalition for California presented me with the opportunity to be proactive and to speak with others in my community regarding the implementation of such laws.

As a person with no experience in the political landscape I was hesitant to volunteer however, no experience was necessary and all volunteers were adequately prepped. Upon reading about Secular Lobby Day I gathered some inspiring information about some the key issues that the Coalition focuses on and realized this was definitely an organization I wanted to advocate for.

Some of these issues include health care, education, discrimination, and government actions; all things that we have a duty to ensure are equal and just for everyone. Although I was intimidated as this was my first visit to the capitol building, throughout the day I learned just how easy it is to be proactive about important issues affecting our state like SB 1005, AB 1954, etc.

The coordinators of the event really made sure it was easy to participate for anyone who wanted to; free for students, all of the paperwork was organized, volunteers were informed about the coalition and previous lobby day events, and how we could participate in the future.

To my surprise, all staffers seemed genuinely interested in what the volunteer lobbyists had to say. There was a pleasant exchange of questions and information, and we were invited back to the offices for follow ups or further questions.

I also made some like-minded friends while volunteering, whom I’ve also encountered at other SacFANs events, and am currently working with on other projects. There were about twelve volunteers present on lobby day, only a small number of secular Californians out there.

I definitely encourage others to take advantage of this opportunity and to voice their concerns regarding secular values, after all, this is what defines America, and it’s “the best guarantee to freedom for all.”
In October, we invite you to join Kaeleigh and dozens of others for Secular Advocacy Day.

This special event is the day after California Freethought Day, on October 17 (Monday) from 9 AM - 3 PM.

We'll gather at the State Capitol and, after a briefing period, send you off in small groups to talk to your elected officials. You'll be armed with relevant talking points about vaccines, sexual health education, family planning, and more. It's easy, fun, and so very important.

It's free to attend, or you can support the day for just $25 (includes lunch).
Register for Advocacy Day
Please register, and forward this to your friends who are interested in secular rights.


-California Freethought Day

PS: Looking to have big fun? Check out the Saturday night reception and don't forget to register for California Freethought Day.
Copyright © 2016 California Freethought Day, All rights reserved.

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