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Our Work

FCNL’s strategic lobbying gets results. From the creation of the Peace Corps and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, FCNL has been pivotal to some of our country’s landmark legislation. Our power stems from the integrity of our positions, our effective lobbying in Washington, and our committed grassroots network.

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  1. Press Room

Working Together for Change

House, Senate Pass Elie Wiesel Act to Prevent Violent Conflict

This fall, both the House and Senate passed the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (S. 1158/H.R. 3030) with overwhelming bipartisan support—a vital step towards a more peaceful world. This bill ensures the U.S. government is equipped with the most constructive and cost-effective tools to address the root causes of violent conflict. FCNL has led the strategy and lobbying that, over the past decade, has built a strong, bipartisan consensus in Congress for proactive investment in peacebuilding. Our persistent relationship-building with both Republicans and Democrats has helped develop long-term champions for this issue.

Congress Supports SNAP, Protects Struggling Families

In December 2018, Congress passed a bipartisan farm bill that protects and improves the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—formerly known as food stamps)—rejecting harmful provisions that would have punished people struggling to find work. FCNL lobbied for a just, bipartisan bill that preserves the health and dignity of people in every state. FCNL’s Quaker Public Policy Institute in late November brought nearly 400 advocates to Washington to lobby to protect SNAP, just at the moment Congress was making critical decisions about the program’s future.

[FCNL’s Quaker Welcome Center] will help stem the vitriol by fostering respectful conversation and a search for common ground.

'New space in DC intends to play host to bipartisan dialogue' in the Washington Post

Senate Votes to End Illegal U.S. War in Yemen

For the first time, the Senate invoked the War Powers Act to end U.S. participation in a war. By a 56-41 vote in December 2018, the Senate voted to end U.S. military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. In the House, the legislation came within three votes of passage. FCNL is the leading faith-based organization lobbying U.S. policymakers to end support for the Saudi-led war and de-facto blockade of Yemen.

Florence Ntakarutimana, a Quaker who works with CRS in the Central African Republic, and Hussein Khalid of Haki Africa in Kenya
Florence Ntakarutimana, a Quaker who works with CRS in the Central African Republic, and Hussein Khalid of Haki Africa in Kenya

[LEFT] Florence Ntakarutimana, a Quaker who works with CRS in the Central African Republic, and Hussein Khalid of Haki Africa in Kenya speak at Annual Meeting [RIGHT] Syrian refugee children holding up peace signs in Lebanon. Trocaire / Flickr

Congress Takes First Step on Criminal Justice Reform

The Congress overwhelmingly passed the First Step Act in December 2018. This legislation moves the U.S. towards a fairer justice system, reducing extremely long prison sentences for non-violent crimes paired with improved rehabilitation for those currently in prison. FCNL is a leader in the faith community advocating for criminal justice reform and has worked with our strong grassroots network to persistently push Congress to act to end mass incarceration. This legislation, the biggest change to the federal criminal justice system in decades, is an important step in that direction.

Congress Moves on Climate Change

FCNL’s multi-year advocacy to change the congressional dialogue is paving the way for bipartisan legislation to address the causes and effects of climate change. Our advocacy helped the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus grow from 20 to 90 members (half Republicans and half Democrats), and we encouraged Caucus members to offer positive climate proposals – including the first Republican-led proposal in more than a decade to put a price on carbon.

A Love Thy Neighbor sign with the Capitol in the backdrop.

FCNL Deepens its Native American Advocacy

With the launch of the Native American Congressional Advocacy program, FCNL is building stronger connections among tribes, tribal organizations, and non-Indian allies in the faith community. In 2018, this partnership helped move legislation to prevent violence against Native women, which passed the Senate in December. For the first time in its annual appropriations, Congress designated money specifically for tribes as part of the Crime Victims Fund.

'We now have Advocacy Teams around the country who are pursuing relationships with their members of Congress,' said [FCNL's] Jim Cason.

'Putting Citizenship Back in Congress' in the New York Times

FCNL Creates Space for Dialogue on Capitol Hill

The Quaker Welcome Center, opened in 2017, expanded FCNL’s physical presence on Capitol Hill and provides space for reflection, training, and conversation. The space has already hosted members of Congress, religious leaders, school groups, and Friends meetings, and we are only beginning to realize its potential to advance FCNL’s work. Along with FCNL’s LEED-certified office building next door, the Quaker Welcome Center embodies FCNL’s commitment to an earth restored, making use of solar panels, a green roof, geothermal energy, and other sustainable features to minimize environmental impact.

Young Adults Show Their Power on Immigration

In spring 2018, as Congress considered damaging administration proposals on immigration, FCNL brought more than 400 young adults to Washington to lobby to build bridges, not walls, and to protect young adult Dreamers from deportation. This advocacy at Spring Lobby Weekend played a critical role in stopping damaging proposals from becoming law and in limiting funding for deportation.

Background History 

We were founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1943 in response to World War II. FCNL was a lobby from the start, working directly with policymakers to solve the big challenges that affect our world. Since then, we've advocated tirelessly for peace, justice, and sustainability — and it's paid off.

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