1. Event
  2. Economic Justice

Spring Lobby Weekend

March 18-21, 2017 in Washington, DC

By Jessica Del Villar, Andrew Silva, Katie Breslin


The U.S. Congress is heading for a showdown about access to health care, Medicaid, and other programs that have kept tens of millions of people out of poverty for 50 years. This weekend, more than 400 young adults are coming to Washington to lobby Congress to #ResistInjustice.

We know it will be hard, but it will take all of us to get beyond these obstacles.

At Spring Lobby Weekend 2017, nine weeks after the next president is sworn into office, hundreds of young people will join this conversation as advocates for a more just and moral society. We know it will be hard, but it will take all of us to get beyond these obstacles.

In this next Congress, congressional leaders and the incoming president not only want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act but they’re also pushing policies that would destroy the Medicaid program and gut the food stamp program (known as SNAP) as we know it. The consequences of these actions would be disastrous for enormous swaths of the U.S. population. Twenty-two million people would find themselves stripped of their health insurance, many who live in lower-income families. Harmful and lasting changes to the SNAP program could mean children and families struggling to make ends meet would not be guaranteed access to nutrition assistance when they need it.

Millions of people are still living in poverty in our society. But the solutions isn’t to throw even more people into poverty. Our questions to lawmakers in Washington, DC this March are:

  • How will you provide health care to the 22 million people at risk? Congress should not repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it with something better.
  • Are you willing to stand up against the oncoming cuts to core programs that keep people out of poverty?
  • Will Congress institute big tax cuts for the wealthy while simultaneously dismantling the safety net that millions of working families rely on?

Many members of Congress don’t want to make these cuts. But the only voices they are hearing are the voices calling for cutting the budget deficit and reigning in spending. Our voices, at the beginning of this new Congress and administration, can make a difference.

Can't make it to Spring Lobby Weekend? Help a young adult come to DC.

Register for Spring Lobby Weekend 2017 

Join hundreds of young adults for training and advocacy in Washington, DC. This year's event will be held from March 18-21.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spring Lobby Weekend 

March 18-21, 2017 in Washington, DC

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Spring Lobby Weekend including some about registration, housing, financial support, and lobbying.

Tentative Schedule

Saturday, March 18 (Washington Plaza Hotel - 10 Thomas Cir. NW)

  • 12:00 p.m. Registration and Lunch Open
  • 12:30 p.m. Welcome and Orientation with Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary; Jessica Del Villar, FCNL
  • 12:50 p.m. Why we're here and why lobbying matters with Amelia Kegan, FCNL
  • 1:15 p.m. Intersectionality: Economic and racial injustice
  • 2:30 p.m. Making the personal political with Andrew Silva, FCNL
  • 3:00 p.m. Telling your story on Instagram (@Quaker_Lobby) with Emily Sajewski, FCNL
  • 3:45 p.m. Why do Quakers care about economic justice? with Diane Randall, FCNL
  • 4:30 p.m. Intro to Quaker worship with Christine Ashley, FCNL
  • 5:00 p.m. New attender orientation (optional)
  • 6:00 p.m. Meet and greet with the Advocacy Corps or dinner on your own
  • 8:00 p.m. Monument tour (optional)

Sunday, March 19 (Washington Plaza Hotel - 10 Thomas Cir. NW)

  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast (provided by FCNL)
  • 9:00 a.m. Worship
  • 9:30 a.m. How did we get here? The history of welfare reform
  • 10:30 a.m. Medicaid and SNAP: What they are, how they work, what we’re asking Congress with Amelia Kegan, FCNL
  • 11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided by FCNL)
  • 12:30 p.m. Issue Q + A
  • 2:15 p.m. Telling your story in a lobby visit with Katie Breslin, FCNL; Jessica Del Villar, FCNL
  • 3:30 p.m. Showing the power of stories: Instagram compilation with Emily Sajewski, FCNL
  • 4:00 p.m. Lobby training for Monday lobbyists
  • 5:30 p.m. Dinner (on your own)

Monday, March 20 (Washington Plaza Hotel - 10 Thomas Cir. NW)

  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast (provided by FCNL)
  • 9:00 a.m. Congressional staff panel
  • 10:00 a.m. Lobby training
  • 11:00 a.m. Break out by state groups to plan visits
  • 11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided by FCNL)
  • 1:00 p.m. Practice lobby training with whole group
  • 1:30 p.m. Keynote: Post-apocalyptic activism
  • 2:45 p.m. Workshop: Session 1
  • 3:30 p.m. Workshop: Session 2
  • 4:30 p.m. I can get paid for that? Network reception for students & young adults
  • 4:30 p.m. Continue to engage with FCNL Reception for chaperones, professors, & teachers
  • 5:30 p.m. Keynote: The power of constituent voices
  • 7:00 p.m. Dinner on your own

Tuesday, March 21 Lutheran Church (212 East Capitol St. NE)

  • Breakfast (provided by FCNL)
  • 8:30 a.m. Keynote: The congressional agenda
  • 9:00 a.m. Lobby! #RESISTINJUSTICE
  • 11:45 a.m. Box lunches (provided by FCNL until 2:30)
  • 4:00 p.m. Church closes: Take what you learned home
Students hold Spring Lobby Weekend sign
Students hold Spring Lobby Weekend sign

[LEFT] Students from Scattergood Friends School. Emily Sajewski / FCNL [RIGHT] A Spring Lobby Weekend participant takes a selfie with Sen. Cory Booker (NJ). Chris Letts / FCNL

Logistics

The event will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC on March 18-21, 2017.

Registration Fees:

  • $50 - Regular rate
  • $25 - Reduced rate for people with low incomes

Housing:

FCNL has reserved a large block of housing at a hostel near the Spring Lobby Weekend venue. If you are interested in arranging housing through FCNL, you can indicate this on your registration.

Housing costs $40/night and is available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. There is financial support available to lessen or cover the cost of housing.

For additional information, please visit the FAQ page.

Financial Support

If you are an individual interested in financial support, please first complete a registration, which does not require payment. You may indicate you’re interested in support as part of your registration and you will be automatically emailed an application. If you are a group interested in financial support or housing options, please contact Andrew Silva directly at andrew@fcnl.org.

Jessica Del Villar

  • Program Assistant for Young Adult Outreach

Jessica is part of the 2016-2017 class of Young Fellows and serves as the Program Assistant for Young Adult Outreach. She primarily focuses her efforts on recruiting for Spring Lobby Weekend. Jessica is a LA native and recent graduate of Duke University where she studied Sociology, Cultural Anthropology and Latino Studies.

Andrew Silva

  • Events Planner and Registrar

Andrew Silva serves as the Events Planner and Registrar. Andrew helps to plan and execute FCNL events related to governance, lobbying, and fundraising. He also handles financial assistance and support for participants and assists with recruitment efforts in the hopes of both increasing attendance and expanding FCNL’s constituency. Since joining FCNL as the receptionist and then administrative coordinator, all events have experienced growth in attendance from the year previous. Andrew also serves on a working group tasked with expanding diversity and inclusion efforts at FCNL.

Katie Breslin

  • Young Adult Program Manager

As FCNL’s Young Adult Program Manager, Katie organizes, trains, and supports the efforts of 18 young activists and leaders to affect big, long-term change within Congress. She offers hands-on leadership experience for young people across the country who work on their college campus or in their home community to mobilize people to engage with Congress.