1. Washington Newsletter

Washington Newsletter: Our Progress Towards the World We Seek

January/February 2019


FCNL made important progress during the 115th Congress, despite the prevailing hyper-partisanship.

The mission for peace, justice, and sustainability is essential for all humanity, regardless of political views.

Thanks to your faithful advocacy, four bills that FCNL staff and grassroots advocates relentlessly advocated for were signed into law during the last Congress:

  • The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 establishes the prevention of genocide and other atrocities as core national security interest and moral responsibility of the United States.
  • The farm bill, or the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, reauthorizes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It helps more than 40 million Americans put food on the table.
  • The FIRST STEP Act of 2018 reforms the federal prison system and seeks to reduce recidivism. The full name of the law is The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person. *The PREPARE Act of 2017 created an interagency council to establish government-wide goals to deal with extreme weather. It stands for Preparedness and Risk Management for Extreme Weather Patterns Assuring Resilience and Effectiveness.

These laws were not passed just within one session of Congress. The reality is our work goes beyond a session of Congress—it includes persistent advocacy that stretches across decades. We keep one eye on what’s right in front of us and one eye on the horizon. We work for change that takes years of sustained, persistent effort to achieve.

Read the rest of this article, and the full Washington Newsletter for January/February 2019, below.

Background Our Progress Towards the World We Seek 

FCNL made important progress during the 115th Congress, despite the prevailing hyper-partisanship. The mission for peace, justice, and sustainability is essential for all humanity, regardless of political views.

Background The Marathon for the World We Seek  

I love running long distances. My most recent marathon was a 243-mile race deep in the Moab Desert of Utah. I ran for more than 90 hours with barely any sleep.

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.

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.

Background Our Growing Advocacy Network 

Thousands of FCNL volunteer lobbyists from Florida to Alaska visited Congressional offices last year to lobby respectfully and in a non-partisan manner for the world we seek. You advocated to support sentencing reform, to support legislation to prevent atrocities, to oppose U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen, and to prevent cuts to the food stamps program.

Background Six Ways to Advocate Prophetically 

Your advocacy early this year will be critical to setting the agenda for the new Congress. Here are six ways you can be prophetic, persistent, and powerful advocates with FCNL:

Background The Power of Our Witness 

Quaker Welcome Center

At the Quaker Welcome Center, we regularly see how the stories and connections of Friends are helping to make change on Capitol Hill.

Background Quakers, Laws, and Courts 

Question & Answer with George Conyne