Maiya Zwerling

As the National Organizing Manager, 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 lobbying to build congressional champions for peace and justice. Maiya oversees the 2018 grassroots campaign to prevent a war with North Korea.

Since they launched in 2015, the teams have played a crucial role in FCNL’s advocacy. In the August 2015 push to garner congressional support for the Iran deal, they organized over 80 visits with their members of Congress’ offices and publishing over 30 letters to the editor. Their lobbying on sentencing reform legislation in 2016 brought on 15 members of Congress as cosponsors. Advocacy Teams are a leading grassroots voice on war, advocating against drastic increases in military spending and galvanizing Congress to stop a war with North Korea. One representative credited the growing bipartisan congressional push for an audit of the Pentagon to FCNL's grassroots advocacy. Under Maiya's leadership, Advocacy Teams have expanded to nearly 100 teams in 38 states, organized 430 lobby visits, and published 150 letters to the editor and op-eds in 2017.

Previously, Maiya served as policy assistant on the Middle East. 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 graduated manga cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in Anthropology and Psychology. Pursuing her interest in enacting change through grassroots mobilization, Maiya spends her free time organizing the Jewish community around a just resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. She always has a knitting, crochet or sewing project in the works.

Articles by Maiya Zwerling

Background Why We're Speaking Up on North Korea 

Hopes for diplomacy have grown, but the risks of war with North Korea remain all too real.

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 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.

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.