Secular AZ Letter to Phoenix re Invocations 2-3-16

Below is the letter sent to Phoenix Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council on February 3, 2016, regarding agenda item 43.1 to change the invocaton policy at city council meetings.  This agenda item was requested to stop a minority group from giving the invocation on February 17, 2016, and subsequently changes the policy to only allow those groups that city council members invite to provide the invocation.
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Dear Mayor Stanton,
 

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About School Vouchers

Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) are nothing more than school vouchers.  While the vouchers are primarily used for private education, they can be used for home-schooling with very little oversight.  These funds can be used to pay for tuition and other fees at any private school, including parochial schools.  From the Secular Coalition for America Policy Guide (2013): "Public funds should not support parochial schools, either directly or indirectly through voucher programs. Vouchers provide citizens with direct funding to apply to private school tuitions.

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HB 2189 - What does it mean?

When the Chairman of the House Education Committee (Paul Boyer) is the prime sponsor and the Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee (Sylvia Allen) is the co-sponsor of an "education omnibus" bill, it is almost certain that the bill will be heard in both committees.  Therefore, we should take the content of the bill quite seriously.  So, when we read through the list of statutes that the education omnibus bill repeals, we were left feeling quite perplexed as to why the lawmakers would pick and choose these statutes to repeal.

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Thank you, Matt Schoenley!

It is with deep regret that we announce the resignation of our founder and first chair, Matt Schoenley, from Secular Coalition for Arizona’s board of directors. Matt’s departure stems from anticipated changes in his work as a Southwest Airlines pilot.

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Register Today: 2016 Secular Lobby Day

Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) is excited to announce our premier event of the year, our annual Lobby Day at the Arizona Capitol.   It will be held Monday, February 8 from 9am-3pm on the Arizona Capitol Grounds.  Join us at the Secular AZ tent on the lawn for an exciting program including:
 

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First Annual Secular Summit a Success!

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) hosted its first annual Arizona Secular Summit on December 5, 2015 at the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix.  This special members-only event attracted more than 50 individuals who heard from Secular AZ leadership, state legislators, and experts from Secular AZ partner organizations including ACLU Arizona and Equality Arizona.

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On the Road: Phoenix Atheist Meetup Group

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) is often invited to speak to community groups around Arizona with an interest in promoting secular government.  One such group is the social Phoenix Atheist Meetup Group who hosted a gathering with our Director of Government Affairs, Tory Anderson, at a recent meetup in Scottsdale.  The event was well-attended and relaxed.  Tory enjoyed good conversation with the attendees as she introduced Secular AZ to them.  "Not into politics?" she asked, "Then let me be your eyes at the Capitol."

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Arizona Compassion and Choices Meeting

Secular Coalition for Arizona Board Member Jim Lippard and Director of Government Affairs Tory Anderson attended the first community meeting of the new Arizona chapter of Compassion and Choices on November 8, 2015.

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1st Annual Secular Summit

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) is proud to announce a new, exclusive annual event.  On December 5, 2015, we will hold our first annual Arizona Secular Summit from 9am-2pm at the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix Community Center in Mesa, Arizona. 

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Meet Our Team: Caleb Naugle

Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) has a few new additions to our Board of Directors for 2015-2016 and we are eager to introduce them to the community.  New board member at large CALEB NAUGLE is active in a number of local and national groups, organizations and foundations that share specific goals: to keep church and state separate, ensure equal rights for all, and promote science education.

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