FCNL’s multi-faceted approach draws on the expertise of registered lobbyists in Washington, DC, the commitment and passion of people around the country in our advocacy network, and the relationships we cultivate with elected officials and community leaders.
Because our lawmakers are making decisions about people’s lives, we must be ready to work with them, regardless of party or agreement on all issues. We meet both policymakers and advocates where they are and seek opportunities to work together where there is common ground.
Our elected officials need constituents and advocates who will encourage, teach, appreciate, and hold them accountable to work for the common good.
Our elected officials need constituents and advocates who will encourage, teach, appreciate, and hold them accountable to work for the common good. This practice of respectful lobbying that stays open to the possibilities of “yes” is the way we turn love and faith into action.
Lobbying from a place of faith is about remaining grounded and not being riled or thrown off track by the response of the government official. It is not about twisting the facts or about elaborate arguments. Engaging in this work means presenting accurate research as fully as possible to give the public as well as public officials access to information not readily available to them otherwise. It is not about promoting self-interest but about advancing government policy to move toward a more powerful, just and whole world; in other words, to be more in line with what we understand of God’s kingdom on Earth.
Quaker Advocacy for the World We Seek
Since the early days of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), God’s spirit has led Friends to take action in the world. This Spirit has called Friends to recognize the equality of women and men, challenge hereditary privilege, help end legal slavery, struggle against oppression and reduce suffering inflicted by violent conflict. Since 1943, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has carried on this witness of the Spirit through action on Capitol Hill. Governed by members of the Religious Society of Friends, FCNL acts in faith to create a world free from war, a society with equity and justice for all, a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled and an earth restored.
Our legislative policy rises out of our belief that there is that of God in every person and that all creation has worth and dignity. Acknowledging and honoring a spectrum of religious and ethical traditions, we try to be open to the will of God and to embody Jesus’ teachings in our personal, national and global relationships. Facing profound global challenges and great opportunity, we speak from our faith for a new vision of how the world community can live together more peacefully and justly and with greater care for each other and our shared world.
Our legislative policy rises out of our belief that there is that of God in every person and that all creation has worth and dignity.
FCNL supports and influences legislation and government action by engaging with others, conveying our beliefs and urging leaders in government to embrace specific policies and actions. We educate and empower Friends and those who share our concerns to participate in the political process as voters, advocates and elected officials.
The issues we strive to address are inextricably linked, leading us to focus on the root causes and long-term consequences of injustice, inequality, economic disparity, disproportionate power, and violence.
A better future is possible through dedicated effort, creative cooperation, right relationships and well-directed resources. Change will require personal and material costs that we are prepared to share. We are convinced by our faith and experience to continue building the peaceful, just, equitable and sustainable global community we seek.
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Quakers and Friends are changing public policy.