1. Work with FCNL

Advocacy Teams

Quaker Vision. Collective Action.

By Maiya Zwerling, Teresa Rugg, Emily Savin

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.

With FCNL, we get to the root of problems by changing the systems and policies that drive them. We believe that Congress has immense power to effect positive change. It's our job to make sure they use it. This year, we're working to rein in Pentagon Spending.

Your Advocacy Can Change Washington

70 years of witness in Washington has shown us that when people talk to their representatives, change happens. A recent survey of hundreds of Congressional staff conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation confirms that in-person lobby meetings with constituents are the most effective way to influence the policy decisions of their members. That's why FCNL has been building our program to empower grassroots advocacy in order to foster congressional champions for peace and justice.

Advocacy Teams were founded in June, 2015, recognizing this need for deep, relationship-driven constituent advocacy. There are now dozens of teams with hundreds of people around the country.

What You'll Do

Ready to Start an Advocacy Team?

Fill out a quick survey to assess whether an Advocacy Team is a good fit for you.

Find out 

The power of Advocacy Teams comes from each team member’s commitment to changing Capitol Hill for the better – and the knowledge that we’re stronger together.

You will build an ongoing relationship with your members of Congress.

You will learn how to work with the media to see the news you want.

You will foster a network of advocates in your community.

You will help your members of Congress become champions for peace and justice.

You will change Washington for the better.

Advocacy Teams at Annual Meeting 2016

Step by Step to Start a Team

Take the Leap

An individual or group decides they are ready to invest in building a deep relationship with their members of Congress. They get in touch with Maiya using this form.

Launch Your Team

This person gathers 3-8 people to join a one-hour Host Committee call to introduce the group to Advocacy Teams. This group organizes an advocacy workshop that brings 15-30 Quakers and non-Quakers from their community. FCNL’s National Field Organizer, Maiya Zwerling, leads a three-hour workshop with the goal of launching an Advocacy Team. In this workshop, we dive into our philosophy around social change, the issue, and we take action. You and FCNL decide whether to move forward.

Event Upcoming Advocacy Workshops 

We're on the road giving you the skills you need to effect real, concrete change with Congress. We hope you can join us for a workshop in your area, as we launch new Advocacy Teams around the country.

Build Your Skills

New teams take part in a one-time series of four trainings to build your team structure and get you ready to lobby as a group.

Stay in Touch

Advocacy Teams come together in person once a month to hear from experts, celebrate, and learn from other teams. In these meetings, we take action. One or more delegates from each team join a biweekly call for training, collaboration, and sharing.

Make Real Change

FCNL Advocacy Teams take action on a regular basis, using lobbying and media engagement as their tools. In just two months in 2015, FCNL Advocacy Teams organized 80 lobby visits and published 30 letters to the editor. You can join their advocacy.

Our Campaign in 2017: Rein in Pentagon Spending

Protecting people – protecting our country – means protecting our security across the board. Simply spending more and more money on war has not and will not make us safe. Being safe also means ensuring that each person has the food, shelter, and medical care they need to live with dignity.

In 2017, we’re pouring $600 billion per year into the Pentagon, funding wars around the world that do more harm than good. Even after more than 100,000 U.S. military troops withdrew from Iraq, real Pentagon spending is at the same levels as it was at the height of the Cold War.

At the same time, Congress is developing plans to dismantle the social safety net, claiming we don’t have the funds to maintain programs that keep 38 million people out of poverty.

We are losing sight of our priorities as a country. In the coming year, Congress will decide if our government will pour increasingly more money into the Pentagon while cutting programs that protect the security of our communities at home. Advocacy Teams urge our senators and representatives to aggressively rein in Pentagon spending.

Advocacy Resource Advocacy Teams Toolkit 

Advocacy Teams can find lobbying, media, and organizing resources and report back on their work.

Maiya Zwerling

  • National Field Organizer

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.

Teresa Rugg

  • Consultant, Advocacy Teams Trainer

Teresa Rugg supports new and prospective Advocacy Teams to launch and develop deep advocacy skills.

Emily Savin

  • Consultant, Advocacy Teams Trainer

Emily Savin supports new and prospective Advocacy Teams to launch and develop deep advocacy skills.