News

News, updates, press releases, and media news about Secular Coalition for Arizona.

Secular Coalition Official Position on the Arizona Office of Faith and Community Partnerships

Send a message to Governor Brewer using our "Action Alert System".  Click here.

Full Text of Executive Order 2014-06 Here

Background
On August 29, 2014, Governor Jan Brewer signed Executive Order 2014-06, establishing the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships and the Arizona Council on Faith and Community Partnerships.

This new Office and Council replace the Arizona SERVES taskforce and website, established by Executive Order 2010-07 and 2010-16.  The current board of the Arizona SERVES taskforce includes:
-          Five Christian Pastors
-          Seven Leaders of Christian-based non-profit organizations (including the lobbying group “Center for Arizona Policy”, an organization which is well-known for its extremist religious agenda)
-          Three State Employees
-          Two Undefined “Public Advocates”
-          Two Leaders from secular non-profit organizations

ArizonaSERVES was tasked with five goals:

  1. Encourage foster care
  2. Facilitate free/reduced child care services
  3. Provide supervised CPS visits
  4. Promote elder independence/assist grandparents raising grandchildren
  5. Provide transportation to underserved

2014 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The Session Wrap-Up is your definitive 'inside guide' to SC Arizona's increasingly effective secular-minded legislative activities.  Click here to get the inside scoop.

The 2014 Secular Scorecard is Here!

Click here to see how your legislator scored on our 2014 Secular Scorecard.  

Don't know your legislative district?  Click here to find out.

Our organization has a clear objective – to actively oppose bills and legislative activities that privilege religion over no religion, or that use law to force the entire state to conform to one religion’s concept of morality.  We are dedicated to ending religious intrusion in civil government, particularly where this intrusion marginalizes religious minorities or nonbelievers, or results in discrimination against politically vulnerable groups of people. 

Conversely, we support bills that safeguard, strengthen and rebuild the wall of protection between church and state. 
 

Sine Die

Our legislature ended the legislative session late last week.  We had some very big wins this session, and we are so proud to be your voice at the Arizona legislature.

 

We're developing our "Secular Scorecard" and Session Wrap-Up, which will contain more detailed information on each bill we worked on this session, plus we'll let you know how your legislator scored on Secular issues. 

Legislative Update

The religious-right wing of the Arizona legislature like to quietly push bills through that will benefit their agenda in several ways.  What we've found is that when we are LOUD about these bills, sometimes the bill dies.  

Check out what happened this week in what we're calling the "Trinity of Religious Handouts":

 

Handout #1-   HB2281: Expanding Religious Privilege in Tax Law 

 

You've heard us talk about it and we're not giving up until this bill dies.  What this Center for Arizona Policy bill does is pick winners and losers in property tax code.   

The winners: Churches.  

 

The losers: Everyone else.  To the tune of $2.1M.  That's the amount that JLBC estimates of property tax revenue that will be shifted to other property owners if this bill passes.  Read the fiscal note here.

 

While this bill is not currently moving, it could easily move next week.  Keep up the pressure and stay loud on this bill (see our "Action Alert" section below to take action).

 

Handout #2: SB1303: Giving a Property Tax Break to Grand Canyon University, a Christian-based Private College

 

Thanks to the LOUD attention to this bill, it died in Rules committee on Wednesday!

 

Media attention:

Secular Coalition for Arizona Official Request for Gov. Brewer to Veto SB1062

View the original veto request here.

 
The Honorable Janice Brewer
Arizona Governor
Executive Tower
1700 West Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Secular Day at the Capitol

Join the Secular Community at the Arizona State Capitol on Tuesday, February 18, at 12:30PM.

Address: 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix

We will have a tour of the Arizona House of Representatives and we will be introduced to the Arizona House of Representative Members during the House Floor Session.

Please join us in solidarity to show the Arizona Legislature that we are a strong, unified voice for Arizona's Secular Community.

RSVP

Weekly Update from the Secular Coalition for Arizona 2-7-14

Rep. Ruben Gallego Gives Secular "Prayer" on AZ House Floor
Representative Ruben Gallego took a personal point of privilege to deliver the following statement on the House Floor yesterday (February 6, 2014):
The purpose of our opening prayer is to ask for something important. I’m asking that whichever God you pray to or whichever value system inspires you, let’s stay focused on the work we came here to do.  

There are a lot of versions of the Golden Rule in a lot of religions and secular traditions. They all say we should treat people like we want to be treated.

Arizonans and their families want to be treated like their state government is here for them. They want to know we’re going to fight for them. That we’re making Arizona a place of prosperity and opportunities. Let’s practice the Golden Rule today and get to work.
Representative Mach welcomed Secular Students and Secularists to Arizona House of Representatives
During the same floor session that Rep. Gallego made the personal point of privilege, Rep. Mach welcomed and introduced her guests from the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Coalition.  Thank you to Representative Mach for the warm welcome!

Join us for Secular Day at the Capitol!

Register for our web-based Legislative Advocacy Training (1/24, 12PM)

Here's to Another Legislative Session!

Arizona's Fifty-First Legislature begins its Second Regular Session on Monday, January 13, 2014.  We're ready - Are you?

Register for the Secular Coalition for Arizona "Legislative Training" here

 
Did you know that you can sign up to comment on bills from home using the "Request to Speak" system on the Arizona State Legislature website? 

Secularism Advances in Arizona!

Arizona’s secularists have reason (and now, reasons) to celebrate. For the first time ever, we defeated a stunning 80 percent of the bills backed by the Religious Right’s lobby, the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), widely considered one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the state. This confirms that when we organize, and articulate sensible views supporting church-state separation, we can win.

Here’s what CAP said to their supporters in a recent email: This was “a disappointing end to what's been one of the most challenging legislative sessions in memory.” We couldn’t have been more pleased to have had such an impact!

Click here to download your copy of our session wrap up summary and read all about it.

And you are part of the team that made this possible.  If you are a member of one of our allied organizations; if you sent an email because we asked; if you ever gave a dime to us, then you helped make this happen.

Help keep us fighting for you. Click HERE to make a donation.