FCNL SuccessesPDF version See earlier successes
Patient, persistent, nonpartisan lobbying gets results. The Friends Committee on National Legislation’s approach to lobbying that begins with listening and learning and then proceeds to a respectful conversation is helping tens of thousands of people change policy in Washington. Thanks to your lobbying and financial support, here’s what we've accomplished:
This list of successes was updated in May 2013. Get a printable version
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Native American Advocacy: Protecting Women from Violence
After years of lobbying by FCNL and our allies, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act became law in late February—and included important new provisions to help tribal law enforcement respond more effectively to violence against women on Native American reservations. FCNL helped organize our colleagues in the faith community to lobby for enhanced protection for Native women. Find out more.
Engaging a New Generation of Lobbyists
At FCNL’s annual Spring Lobby Weekend in March, more than 100 people—the majority of them college and high school students—gathered in Washington, DC to lobby for effective solutions to climate change. Groups from Carolina Friends School, New England Yearly Meeting’s climate group, Wilmington College, Haverford College, Earlham College, Roanoke College, and other areas learned to lobby, heard from congressional staff and issue experts, and met with members of Congress or their staff in nearly 60 offices. They left energized to invite others on their campuses to be effective advocates and to engage with the media. Find out more.
Rekindling Congressional Action on Climate Change
FCNL lobbyist Jose Aguto has led efforts to raise new voices to address this greatest moral challenge of our time in meeting with the White House and Congress. In a series of FCNL-sponsored briefings, members and staff have heard from Jewish, Evangelical, and Catholic faith leaders; climate experts including Lester Brown; and leaders from the NAACP and Native American communities about the impact of climate change and the need for action. This work is having results. New Senate legislation has broken a two-year drought of significant climate change legislation, and we are helping persuade two other offices to introduce legislation soon. Find out more.
Building the Movement to Reduce Pentagon Spending
Current law calls for cutting Pentagon spending by $1 trillion over the next decade. FCNL is now leading efforts to keep and expand cuts to the Pentagon budget. Among the coalitions we work with in Washington, we are a persistent voice to focus on Pentagon spending and have made more than 60 lobby visits on this issue since the beginning of the year. Our staff are organizing constituents in key states to meet with congressional offices and write letters to the editor.
New Nuclear Bomb Plant Defeated
FCNL's Quaker Nuclear Disarmament Program achieved a significant victory this September when Congress terminated funding for a new nuclear bomb plant in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Our focused lobbying and work with colleagues and constituents in the states and districts of key decision-makers was critical in the defeat of the plant, which would have cost between $4 and $6 billion.
Find out more about FCNL’s work to secure loose nukes and build support for the next step toward a safer world through ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Creating Space for Diplomacy with Iran
As Congress has considered bill after bill calling for taking a tough stance on Iran, FCNL has ensured that these bills also clearly state “nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran.” This language helps hold the door open for the U.S. diplomacy to resolve the conflict between our two countries. FCNL is also lobbying with business people and former military officials to make the case that increased pressure from sanctions on Iran could lead to war, not prevent it.See more recent successes
Preserving U.S. Investment in War Prevention
As Executive Secretary Diane Randall said in her testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee in March, a key FCNL priority is to strengthen civilian capacities to prevent violent conflict before the killing starts. Our lobbying has been critical to creating and maintaining funding for the Complex Crises Fund and the Conflict Stabilization Operations Bureau in the State Department in the face of extreme budget pressures. Find out more.
Preventing Atrocities and Genocide
A working group that FCNL coordinates played a key role in President Obama’s decision to announce a comprehensive strategy to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to convene a high-level interagency panel to coordinate this work. Now we are working to make sure that the administration follows through with the institutional backing to support this board and seeking to influence the cases that it considers. This builds on more than a decade of work, which includes working to pass a genocide prevention resolution in 2010, building support for the creation of the interagency panel in 2011, and supporting the bipartisan group of senators who are calling on U.S. leadership to prevent mass atrocities. Find out more.
Supporting Kenyan Peacemakers
In the lead-up to Kenya’s presidential election this year, FCNL has lobbied the administration and Congress for U.S. policies that support, rather than undermine, the peacemakers in Kenya working to limit electoral violence. Our connections with Quakers in Kenya has helped us bring their voices to influence U.S. policy—through meetings we have arranged between Kenyan Quakers and members of Congress, through lobbying members influential on foreign policy issues, and through providing information to administration decision-makers on U.S. African policy. Find out more.
Taking Steps toward Immigration Reform
Leaders in both major parties now say that reforming the broken U.S. immigration system is a priority this year. FCNL is working actively with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on a lobbying strategy that focuses on Senate leadership and on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to ensure that immigration legislation focuses on family reunification and creating a path to legal status for hard working, taxpaying people who have been in this country for a long time. Find out more.