Maiya Zwerling

As the National Field Organizer, Maiya Zwerling works to strengthen and deepen FCNL's grassroots. She founded and coordinates the FCNL Advocacy Teams, a network of hundreds of Quakers and friends leading lobbying efforts to build congressional champions for peace and justice. Maiya oversees the 2017 grassroots campaign to block increases in Pentagon Spending.

In its first year, dozens of Advocacy Teams were founded across the U.S. Among other efforts, the teams played a crucial role in FCNL’s advocacy to support the Iran deal, organizing over 80 visits with their members of Congress’ offices and publishing over 30 letters to the editor.

Previously, Maiya served as a policy assistant on Middle East policy. Alongside lead Middle East lobbyist Kate Gould, Maiya lobbied to support a negotiated settlement to the Iran nuclear standoff and to promote an enduring peace in both Syria and Israel/Palestine. Throughout this period, Maiya focused on bolstering FCNL’s Middle East grassroots and grasstops network of advocates. She played key roles in developing the messaging and lobby training for the 440 people who attended FCNL’s #DiplomacyWorks lobby days in November 2014. Maiya also took on the core organizing work that enabled FCNL to bring 50 grasstops lobbyists to Washington.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Maiya holds a BA in Anthropology and Psychology from Bryn Mawr College. Pursuing her interest in enacting change through grassroots mobilization, Maiya spends the majority of her free time organizing around the Israel/Palestine conflict. She has previously worked on issues related to veteran's benefits and education, women's and LGBTQ rights, and the environment.

Articles by Maiya Zwerling

Background Resources on Pentagon Spending 

The United States should not increase the military budget as some Congressional leaders are urging. Review four fact sheets on why a Pentagon spending increase will be a waste of funds and not make America any safer:

Advocacy Resource 5 Ways to Make Congress Hear You 

Members of Congress have to listen to constituents — it’s the only way they keep their jobs — but not all communications with Congress are equal. These tips will help you communicate effectively to solve problems and change policy.

Advocacy Resource Outreach Conversations 

Lobbying with a group multiplies your power; every person’s stories and connections can help move policy change forward. Finding a group to lobby with takes intentional conversations – just like a lobby visit!

Advocacy Resource Telling Your Story 

Storytelling is a powerful way to make change. Whether you’re talking to congressional offices, local media, community groups, or a friend, stories help us make connections and demonstrate our values.

Advocacy Resource Influence Local Media 

Newspapers in your area can influence policymakers and your community. Building a relationship with reporters and the editorial board of your local newspapers can help change or amplify their coverage of an issue you care about.

Advocacy Resource Using Follow Up to Build Relationships with Congress 

Learn how follow up with congressional offices can be a tool to deepen relationships.

Work with FCNL Advocacy Teams 

Quaker Vision. Collective Action.

Advocacy Teams are Quakers and friends from across the country who use their power as constituents to build meaningful relationships with their members of Congress.

Update 5 Opportunities for Peace in 2015 

Last year was rife with deadly conflict. Rebellions, violent extremism, and state violence killed many and displaced more. However, there are numerous opportunities for peace in 2015. The Obama administration has shown it is willing to pursue diplomacy in some cases and peace-builders are proving that there are alternatives to war. Below are five examples where civil society and governments are working for a more secure and peaceful future.

Update 5 Ways You Helped Make the World Safer in 2014 

The year 2014 marked a year of remarkable progress for U.S.-Iran diplomacy. Our world is already safer because of U.S.-Iran talks. As I reflect on a year of excitement and progress, I am keenly aware of the critical role the FCNL network has played in ensuring our elected officials stand on the right side of history.