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Advocacy Teams Update: Berkeley Team Advances Congressional Sign-On Letter

By Shoshana Abrams, October 22, 2018


FCNL’s Advocacy Team network is made up of more than 1,500 Quakers and friends from across the country who use their power as constituents to make change in Washington, D.C. Our success comes from our commitment to building relationships with Congress grounded in mutual respect and listening. We regularly feature stories from our network, this story comes to us from our team in Berkeley, Calif.

The Berkeley Advocacy Team is celebrating recent productive and positive meetings with our Senator and Member of Congress who have co-sponsored S. 2047/H.R. 4837.

Members of the Berkley Advocacy Team meet with Rep. Lee's office.

In preparation for a meeting with the office of Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), we phoned FCNL a week prior to the scheduled lobby visit and had the opportunity to speak with Anthony Wier. He informed us that he was working with other groups on a possible sign-on letter within Congress supporting diplomacy with North Korea, and explained the significance of this being bipartisan. This did not come up during our meeting with Sen. Feinstein's staff, but we decided to follow up on this idea in preparation for a meeting with the local office of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

As Anthony Wier said, "We don't have a better friend in Congress than Barbara Lee." Because Rep. Lee is already supportive of much of our work on this issue, we wanted to be intentional about bringing her office specific, concrete actions that would help advance our call for peace and diplomacy with North Korea. Anthony helped us craft talking points about what we would like to see in a Congressional sign-on letter, so we could ask if Rep. Lee would be interested in supporting or perhaps even authoring such a letter, and let them know that Anthony would be meeting with her Washington, D.C. staff the next day to pitch this idea.

As constituents, we were able to be a powerful voice of support on the issue of North Korea. This was important because, as her senior congressional aide told us, Rep. Lee has been primarily involved with the larger issue of repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and less engaged on North Korean diplomacy. Being able to provide Anthony with this information prior to his meeting the next day allowed him to address this concern.

We heard back from our local office immediately after Anthony's meeting, and they told us they would likely be signing on to the letter once they received the final language for their review. We were honored to have been able to use our voices as constituents to support Anthony and FCNL as they work strategically within Congress to prevent war with North Korea.

Advocacy Teams are Quakers and friends from across the country who use their power as constituents to make change in Washington. Learn more.

Shoshana Abrams

  • Advocacy Teams Manager

As FCNL’s Advocacy Teams Manager, Shoshana Abrams is responsible for deepening and expanding our Advocacy Teams program, a network of hundreds of Quakers and friends lobbying to build congressional champions for peace and justice.