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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.
In this section
Together, We're Making Change
Pivoting to Peace
468 miles: The distance FCNL lobbyists walked to and from their 233 Senate and 269 House visits this year – equivalent to a hike from DC to Cincinnati.
As a result of FCNL’s concerted peacebuilding advocacy, in May 2016 President Obama issued an Executive Order further articulating the U.S. government’s focus on atrocities and genocide prevention. Over the last two decades, FCNL has led efforts to orient the U.S. government away from late military action and toward effective early violence prevention. Most recently, we have successfully expanded bipartisan support for peacebuilding in the Senate, and we are bringing together a panel of foreign policy experts to develop recommendations on advancing the prevention of mass violence for the years ahead.
People of faith have a powerful voice that can change our country’s broken criminal justice system. Bringing that perspective into congressional offices has been an important part of FCNL’s advocacy on sentencing reform. FCNL’s focused and sustained lobbying on Capitol Hill, together with a growing network of advocates lobbying locally, has led senators and representatives to support sentencing reform legislation that we expect to pass in 2016. “This is the largest criminal justice reform in a generation, and your advocacy is making a tremendous difference,” a congressional aide told us recently.
761 hours: The time volunteer advocates spent meeting with Congress this year. That’s more than a month in congressional offices.
In the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II, FCNL is leading a coalition of more than 100 organizations working to double the number of refugees welcomed to our shores. Quakers came to the U.S. to escape religious persecution, so Friends have a particular concern to protect religious liberty. In that tradition, FCNL has led advocacy for legislation that would prohibit the U.S. from denying admission based on a person’s religion.
Moving Congress on Climate Change
Our moral call for action on climate change has opened a political space in Washington for lawmakers to acknowledge the danger of inaction and discuss positive solutions. More than a dozen Republicans have now cosponsored legislation FCNL developed with Rep. Chris Gibson (NY) that calls on Congress to act on climate change. Senators and representatives have for the first time created bipartisan caucuses focused on this issue.
Working for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
10 inches: The height of a printed stack of all the bills FCNL lobbied on this year.
Following more than a year of advocacy by FCNL and our colleagues, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in May 2016. On the Hill, FCNL has led efforts to secure additional funding for programs to secure loose nuclear material and oppose a proposed new nuclear cruise missile.
Preventing New Pentagon Spending
Despite millions of dollars in lobbying from Pentagon contractors, FCNL has led the faith community efforts to cut Pentagon spending and encourage lawmakers to invest in programs to improve human security at home. In June 2016, FCNL helped block legislation that would have increased the Pentagon budget by $18 billion.
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