Who We Are
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, DC. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL staff and volunteers work with a nationwide network of tens of thousands of people from many different races, religions, and cultures to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government. FCNL is nonpartisan.
FCNL is also the oldest registered ecumenical lobby in Washington, DC. The organization's legislative priorities and policies are set by a General Committee made up of some 220 Quakers from around the country. FCNL's multi-issue advocacy connects historic Quaker testimonies on peace, equality, simplicity, and truth with peace and social justice issues which the United States government is or should be addressing.
We take the long term view of the world we seek, and the specific policies and legislative priorities we advocate. In our day-to-day lobbying work, we work to identify specific, practical steps individuals can take to persuade the federal government to advance our country toward our longer-term objectives.
FCNL is a nonpartisan 501(c)4 public interest lobby. It is neither a political action committee (PAC) nor a special interest lobby. The FCNL Education Fund is a parallel 501(c)3 organization that supports the research, analysis and education for which FCNL is known and respected.
Our History and Current Work
In the last six-and-a-half decades, FCNL has played a pivotal role in the creation of the Peace Corps, was instrumental in lobbying for the creation of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, helped lobby for the Civil Rights Act, and led efforts in Washington to oppose both the first (1991) and second (2003) Iraq wars.
FCNL's recent accomplishments include encouraging Congress to challenge the direction of U.S. policy in Iraq; leading the effort to block the development of a new generation of new nuclear weapons; and successful lobbying for a one-year moratorium on cluster bomb exports. See our recent statements and letters to Congress and what others say about FCNL's accomplishments.
FCNL's War Is Not the Answer signs and bumper stickers are helping hundreds of thousands of people across the country start a conversation about alternative solutions to war and deadly conflict.