FCNL’s strategic lobbying gets results. Learn more about how we’re working together for change.
‘It’s really up to those groups out there like the Friends Committee that are pressing for diplomatic, peaceful solutions to big problems to step up and raise their voice, because in their absence, the military solution will win all the time.’
Structural Change to Cut Child Poverty
In March 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan. This transformative recovery package, signed into law by the president, expanded key tax credit programs that have a proven record of lifting families out of poverty. These policies could cut child poverty in half in 2021 and will invest in Americans who have been left behind. For the last few years, FCNL has mobilized faith leaders, put together sign-on letters and webinars, organized grasstops leaders in key states and districts, and built coalitions to urge Congress to expand these tax credits.
500 Young Adults Speak Out
More than 70% of the young people who registered for Spring Lobby Weekend, held in March 2021, had never lobbied Congress before. But after two days of virtual trainings and briefings hosted by FCNL staff, members of Congress, and outside experts, these young lobbyists from 43 states virtually met with more than 140 congressional offices. Together, they pushed for the passage of legislation to ban chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and other provisions to address police violence. Equally important, many of them left with a new commitment to stay engaged.
Police Reform, Racial Justice
Following the police murder of George Floyd last year, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in 2020—and then passed it again in March 2021 in the new session of Congress. Addressing institutional racism is a key priority for the FCNL community. As a result, the lobbying of 600 advocates at our November 2020 Annual Meeting was focused on passage of the key reforms in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This was also our lobbying focus at Spring Lobby Weekend in March 2021.
Ending U.S. Support for the War in Yemen
President Joe Biden’s February 2021 decision to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen is the culmination of years of tireless advocacy from Yemeni-Americans, the FCNL community, and allies around the country. But a blockade on Hodeida port in Yemen is fueling a growing famine, by blocking critical shipments of food and fuel. FCNL has organized congressional offices to lobby the administration, spoken at briefings for members of Congress and their staff, and centered U.S. policy on protecting the most vulnerable and ending the war. FCNL is partnering with the makers of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Hunger Ward” to raise further awareness.
Action on Environmental Justice
The Environmental Justice for All Act will make real every American’s right to breathe safe air, drink clean water, and live on uncontaminated land—regardless of their ZIP code, the size of their wallet, or the color of their skin. FCNL has worked for the past decade to persuade Congress to set aside partisan divisions and focus on policies that will place the United States on a path toward a just, sustainable, low-carbon economy. In addition to our work for bipartisan carbon pricing legislation, the 2021-2022 class of Advocacy Corps organizers will be building support in 15 states for the Environmental Justice for All Act.
“I often mention FCNL as the most effective congressional advocacy group. You and your team do fabulous work. We are thankful for your dedication, determination and impact.”
Advocacy Teams Lobby to End Endless Wars
Nearly twenty years after 9/11, Congress is beginning to truly question endless wars and take steps to reassert its constitutional authority over when our country goes to war. In part, this this is a result of pressure from the FCNL community. Our lobbyists and network of Advocacy Teams around the country have been leaders in lobbying for repeal of the war authorizations that have been used as “blank checks” for war for two decades.
Already in 2021, FCNL’s grassroots Advocacy Teams have doubled the number of people lobbying on this issue compared to the same period in 2020, and exceeded the number of people lobbying in 2019. Legislation to repeal the law that authorized the invasion of Iraq is gaining support in the House and the Senate.
New Laws to Address Missing and Murdered Native People
Policymakers are beginning to act to address the demands of Native peoples. Evidence can be found in the appointment of the first Native American secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, in the increased focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women in the White House, and in the House passage of the Violence Against Women Act with strong tribal provisions. But our Indigenous allies note that much more needs to be done. FCNL continues to lead faith community advocacy as an important partner with Native American communities.
Pathway to Citizenship Advances
The House approved legislation in March 2021 that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who came to this country as children, grew up in the United States, and know no other home. Passage of the Dream and Promise Act, which also protects other categories of immigrants such as holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), is a top priority for FCNL and was the focus of Advocacy Corps organizers working in 18 states in 2020 and 2021.
“We never would have gotten those repeals [of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force] through the House if it weren’t for you.”
A Roadmap to Prioritize Peace
The Biden administration’s budget proposals for FY 2022 would increase funding for diplomacy and key peacebuilding activities in the State Department and USAID. After four years of President Trump’s dismantling, the State Department and USAID are facing mounting global crises without the resources to address them. U.S. foreign policy needs a major reorientation. FCNL has been advocating to restore and increase this funding, and in late 2020 the FCNL Education Fund issued a report that provides recommendations across six categories for how the incoming Biden administration should put peacebuilding at the core of its foreign policy. FCNL staff are working with the administration to implement these recommendations, a fifth of which have been at least partially implemented already, and with Congress to increase funding for diplomacy and peacebuilding.
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None of this would be possible without the dedicated advocacy and support of thousands of people around the country. Sign up for our mailing list, learn more about how you can lobby your members of Congress, and provide financial support for this work.
“I couldn’t have imagined six years ago when I started to learn about deep advocacy from FCNL how natural and easy all of this communication could feel with offices. … I’ve learned that [congressional staff] really do appreciate polite, persistent, well-informed, respectful advocacy, and even that they rely on hearing from us once they come to know us in this way.”
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