Friends Committee on National Legislation
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|Motto||A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest|
|Purpose||Peace and justice advocacy|
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a lobbying organization in the public interest founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends. It works for FCNL works for social and economic justice, peace, stewardship of the environment, and good government in the United States.
FCNL is also the oldest registered, faith-based lobby in the public interest in Washington, DC. FCNL has a General Committee of about 220 Quakers from across the United States. FCNL advocates on several issues that are extensions of the Quaker testimonies of peace, equality, simplicity, and integrity.
FCNL does its work through congressional testimony, Capitol Hill lobby visits, educational activities, publications, email and social media, a robust website and grassroots lobbying. FCNL works in coalition with other faith-based and issue-based advocacy groups.
The organization's mission statement gives an overview of its vision for its work:
We seek a world free of war and the threat of war
We seek a society with equity and justice for all
We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled
We seek an earth restored.
FCNL is led by an executive secretary and a general committee. The executive secretary manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. The executive secretary in 2014 was Diane Randall. The general committee is approximately 220 members and includes appointees from Quaker Yearly Meetings and Quaker organizations.
FCNL does not have local or state affiliates; the office is based on Washington, DC.
Two separate organizations comprise FCNL: the FCNL Education Fund and the Friends Committee on National Legislation. The Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which does not engage in lobbying, and donations to it are tax deductible. The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a 501(c)(4) civic organization which lobbies Congress.
The majority of FCNL's budget comes from individual donations. FCNL is also supported by contributions from Quaker Meetings and churches (including Yearly Meetings and Quarterly Meetings), foundations, bequests and endowments.
FCNL's legislative advocacy is based on their policy statement: The World We Seek which identifies the organization's policy positions. The General Committee and Quakers from around the country discern legislative priorities every two years, before each new Congress. These priorities are drawn from The World We Seek.
FCNL 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, played an important role in lobbying for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and participated in efforts to oppose the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars.
FCNL developed the War is Not the Answer campaign in response to U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and general military build-up following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Al Qaeda terrorists. Since then, FCNL has distributed more than 1 million signs, bumper stickers, and other materials with this statement.
- Nuclear disarmament
- Global warming
- Civilian Response Corps
- Immigration Reform
- Earth Science
- | Friends Committee on National Legislation
- The complete mission statement can be found on FCNL's website.
- of Wisconsin stated that FCNL’s role in the Corps’ creation was “pivotal.” FCNL History