1. Background

Our Legislative Priorities for the 116th Congress

During FCNL’s Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute, Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2018, the General Committee affirmed our legislative priorities in the new 116th Congress.

January 29, 2019

Since the early days of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), God’s spirit has led Friends to be a prophetic witness and to take action in the world. The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) brings Friends’ spiritual values and testimonies to bear on U.S. public policy decisions.


FCNL solicited the views and concerns of Quaker meetings, churches, and organizations around the country to help discern the following priorities for our lobbying and public education work during the 116th Congress (2019-2020):

  • Peacebuilding, diplomacy, and the peaceful prevention and resolution of violent conflict with an emphasis on the Middle East.
  • Reduction of military spending and armed interventions.
  • Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • A criminal justice system that is just and equitable, eliminates mass incarceration, and promotes law-enforcement that is community-oriented and demilitarized.
  • An immigration system that promotes and respects the rights, safety and dignity of all immigrants, refugees, and migrants.
  • Equitable access for all to participation in an open and transparent political process.
  • Ending gun violence including through the support of policies informed by public health best practices.
  • Witnessing and advocating on Native American concerns. Honoring the treaties.
  • Economic justice and equity; strengthen programs that meet basic needs, including universal access to quality, affordable healthcare.
  • Sustainable solutions to climate change, including reducing fossil fuel use, increasing renewable energy, strengthening environmental protections, promoting international cooperation, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Friends are called to promote genuine equality of opportunity and communities in which everyone can safely live, learn, work, worship, and love. In each priority we will identify, expose, and work to eliminate institutional racism, institutional sexism, and other forms of systemic discrimination. We are mindful that our nation has a special responsibility to redress the consequences of its long history of slavery, race-based discrimination, and oppression.

FCNL seeks to collaborate across the political spectrum to advance these priorities. FCNL’s work will be based on legislative opportunities, specific expertise, leadings, and available resources. In addition, The World We Seek (FCNL’s policy statement) gives FCNL the flexibility to respond to crises and to important legislative opportunities, as Way opens.