As the oldest registered religious lobby in Washington, D.C., it would be easy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) to celebrate its accomplishments and ride off into the sunset. After all, the organization has done a lot in 80 years.
Since 1943, FCNL has been at the forefront of many important social movements, faithfully lobbying Congress and 15 successive presidential administrations to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship.
But that is not FCNL’s way. Since 1943, FCNL has been at the forefront of many important social movements, faithfully lobbying Congress and 15 successive presidential administrations to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship.
Today, FCNL, the FCNL Education Fund, and Friends Place on Capitol Hill form one of the most effective change agents in Washington, D.C. Its efforts to speak truth to power are deeply rooted in Quaker peace testimony and the belief that there is that of God in everyone—the foundation of its legislative policy and work for 80 years.
From defeating mandatory military training to helping thaw relations with China, FCNL’s first 30 years were marked by efforts to stop violent conflict around the world and address their root causes. FCNL’s advocacy resulted in laws that provided relief to Europe during and after World War II and played a significant role in creating the Peace Corps in 1961 and preventing future wars.
In the 1970s, then-FCNL Executive Secretary Ed Snyder led efforts to cancel the appropriations of $474 million to the South Vietnamese military, expediting an end to the U.S. war in Vietnam.
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