1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH
The first word above is suspect; it is questionable at the very least, that belief systems with no apparent basis in reality should have meddling in our governance.
It is important that freethinkers, as citizens, take part in the political process. It's safe to assume that most members of this group vote; many are more active and take part in activities such as writing to public officials, advocating for political causes and the distribution and signing of petitions. Some may have direct involvement with political advocacy groups or political parties, and some add their voices to local politics by attending city council or school board meetings, etc.
Secular Americans are a large and growing demographic. Reputable polls (Pew Forum, etc) put the percentage of U.S. citizens who are admittedly atheist or agnostic at around 7%, while the number for those who profess to have "no religion" hovers at a full 23% of the population!
Despite this - and although the tide is starting to turn somewhat - nonreligious Americans still have a relatively tiny voice in our political process. We have virtually no representation from those who hold political office at the Federal level. For instance - out of a full 535 members of U.S. Congress, NOT ONE professes a lack of belief in gods (one DID, more or less, but later backpedaled).
Things are slightly better at the State level - we were lucky to have ONE member of the Ohio General Assembly profess to non-theism, but he retired in 2014. We DO have a few in the General Assembly who are sympathetic to the concerns of nonreligious Ohioans. But in turn, we have a number of Representatives and Senators who are politically liberal and open minded EXCEPT when it comes to the idea of not believing in God (not to mention plenty who are religious conservatives and hostile to the very idea of non-theism).
All of the above being good reasons to join us at the Ohio Statehouse for Ohio Secular Summit 2017! It's great chance to be a direct part of Ohio's political process, and to hang out with fellow freethinkers as well.
CFI--NE Ohio has been sponsoring these events since 2013. Let your secular voice be directly heard, and help our legislators in getting to know some secular Ohioans.
For the morning session we will hear from some fantastic speakers who will fill us in on relevant legislation in Ohio, give us tips & talking points, and more. This year's featured speakers include:
Michael De Dora, Director of CFI's Office of Public Policy
Catherine Turcer, Policy Analyst for Common Cause Ohio
Nick Little, Legal Director for CFI
After lunch we'll have some direct correspondence with the Senators and Representatives of our respective districts; appointments at the legislators' offices will be prearranged for you.
For those who plan on heading down to Columbus the evening before the Summit, we suggest the Holiday Inn Capitol Square. It's a few blocks around the corner from the Statehouse, an easy walk if the weather is decent:
Be sure to say you have business at the Statehouse - they have offered a discounted rate for this in years past.
Also, watch for opportunities to carpool with others in the comments below.
Hope to see you there! :)
My Name is Edward Bolte