FCNL SuccessesSee earlier successes
This list of successes was updated in November 2013. Get a printable version
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Preventing a U.S. War with Syria
In late August, U.S. military action against Syria seemed imminent. By mid-September, with a majority in Congress opposing military strikes, the U.S. negotiated a diplomatic solution to remove Syria’s chemical weapons. FCNL was a critical voice in opposing war and offering nonviolent alternatives. In a two-week period FCNL staff visited more than 400 congressional offices, focusing on 60 key members. We briefed congressional staff, produced action alerts and flyers that were circulated nationwide, reached out to hundreds of local Quaker contacts and kept the national mainstream media supplied with alternative views to military intervention. Describing the national mobilization that FCNL helped lead, our senior lobbyist David Culp said, “I have never seen an effort be so effective in moving Congress to prevent war.” Find out more.
Opening the Door for Iran Diplomacy
In September, for the first time in nearly three decades, the presidents of Iran and the United States spoke by telephone. FCNL’s persistent and strategic lobbying on Capitol Hill has helped keep the door open for diplomacy even in the face of repeated congressional efforts to punish and isolate Iran, tactics that make the risk of military action more likely. Find out more.
Cutting Military Spending and Supporting a Path Out of Poverty
Members of an Ohio Lions Club, a retired Pentagon contractor in Washington state, a local elected official in Michigan and a retired state education director in Virginia are just a few of the grassroots activists FCNL has mobilized recently. They are lobbying with us for programs that support people in their path out of poverty and for cuts of at least $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget over the next decade. FCNL continues to be a leading voice in Washington and in the states of key budget decision-makers calling for these Pentagon cuts, which are already part of current law, to be preserved. Find out more.
Stopping New Nuclear Weapons
On Capitol Hill, FCNL continues to lead efforts to cut funding for new nuclear weapons, most recently focusing on funding for the B-61 bomb refurbishment. This work, along with that of our colleagues in the arms control community, helped persuade the Obama administration to move ahead in June with plans to cut the U.S. nuclear arsenal by one-third. Find out more.
Shaping the Public Narrative
Through opinion articles published by FCNL’s foreign policy director Michael Shank and other staff in USA Today, The Guardian, US News & World Report and more than a dozen other news outlets, FCNL has shaped the public narrative on a variety of foreign policy issues. These articles have been praised and recirculated by members of Congress and their staff and have resulted in several calls for new legislation. FCNL staff have co-authored opinion articles with half a dozen members of Congress. See press articles.
Ending the War in Afghanistan
This June, 305 representatives in the House voted for legislation requiring all U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Representatives also called for a transition of governance responsibility to Afghans by December 2013—a full year ahead of schedule. FCNL has worked with the cosponsors of this legislation for five years to persuade Congress to call for an end to the Afghanistan war. When the House first voted on this proposal in 2009, only 138 representatives supported it. Find out more.
Preventing Atrocities and Genocide
The Prevention and Protection Working Group coordinated by FCNL works to strengthen and hold accountable the Atrocities Prevention Board, the high-level interagency board created by President Obama in 2012 to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. We organized the first congressional briefing about the board, provide policy recommendations to address emerging conflicts and encourage the board to fulfill the body’s intended mandate. Find out more.
Sharing Lessons from Kenyan Peacemakers
In advance of the 2013 Kenyan elections, Quakers and other communities of faith helped create structures to prevent and mitigate violence. FCNL is now helping others learn from this experience. In an FCNL-sponsored forum in Burundi this fall, peacemakers from Burundi, Liberia and Nigeria met with Kenyans to share their experiences and learn from each other. In the United States, FCNL has held briefings to educate members of Congress and their staff about how the U.S can support peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts before violence breaks out. Find out more.
Rekindling Congressional Action on Climate Change
If climate change legislation is to pass Congress, members from across the political spectrum need to hear from a diverse cross-section of their constituents. For the last year, FCNL has brought together Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical leaders to collaborate in their advocacy and has sponsored briefings for lawmakers. These efforts helped build support for the bipartisan energy efficiency legislation introduced by Rob Portman (OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH). Find out more.
Taking Steps toward Immigration Reform
FCNL is working with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to ensure that reform provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants already here and helps keeps families together. We were disappointed by the punitive enforcement measures included in the Senate’s immigration legislation but will continue to work for legislation in the House that could be the basis for real reforms becoming law. Find out more.
Native American Advocacy: Highlighting the Impact of Budget Cuts
We continue to keep the Washington offices of national faith groups informed of actions they can take on issues affecting Native Americans, most recently holding briefings on Indian health and the dark history of the role of churches in Indian boarding schools. FCNL is also one of the few groups in Washington highlighting and working to reverse the negative impact of budget cuts on the first Americans.Find out more.