With Americans United’s Summit for Religious Freedom (SRF) fast approaching on April 22-24, we’d like to take some time to explain a special piece of SRF: Lobby Day.
Lobby Day, which will take place on the final day of SRF, will give participants a chance to have face-to-face conversations on Capitol Hill with congressional staff – and maybe even the members of Congress themselves – to talk about the importance of church-state separation. During lobby visits, we will highlight the Do No Harm Act (DHNA), an important bill that would ensure that religious freedom is a shield to protect us all, not a sword to harm others. This is an awesome opportunity for AU members to share their own personal stories about why this bill is so important and what passing the DHNA would mean.
Lobby Day Makes A Difference
During our inaugural Lobby Day in 2020, AU supporters like you attended meetings with members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), David Price (D-N.C.), Marc Pocan (D- Wisc.), and Danny Davis (D-Ill.). We had 104 total lobby meetings with members and staff. Thanks to these meetings, three members of Congress joined as co-sponsors of the Do No Harm Act: Davis, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Talk about having an impact!
No prior lobbying experience is needed! The day before Lobby Day, we will be leading training to teach you how to lobby, give you specific information about the Do No Harm Act and answer questions you might have. If you are nervous about attending meetings alone, don’t worry. We will create groups based on where people live, so if you have a friend or family member who might be interested and lives near you, get them to sign up and lobby together!
AU will schedule your meetings for you, and we will try our best to ensure that everyone who is participating has a meeting with the office of at least one of their members of Congress. Your lobby group may also include people who live in neighboring congressional districts, and you’ll have meetings in those offices, too. This is because members want to hear from their constituents, so by meeting with your home state legislators your stories will have a greater impact.
Lobby Day Magnifies Your Voice
There are hundreds of issues important to Americans United and to all of us personally that are before Congress right now. The power of this Lobby Day is that we are all lobbying legislators with one, unified message.
Americans United supports the Do No Harm Act because it will protect all Americans’ religious freedom. It upholds the foundational principle of separation of church and state, which safeguards our right to live and believe as we choose. Our nation promises everyone the freedom to believe as they want, but our laws cannot allow anyone to use their religious beliefs to harm others.
Here’s how to sign up to lobby for the Do No Harm Act: First, register to attend the Summit for Religious Freedom at the SRF website, and be sure to select an option that includes Lobby Day. Then, go to the Lobby Day section of the site for more information.
We hope to see you this April!