Friends Committee on National Legislation

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Friends Committee on National Legislation
Logo for FCNL.jpg
Motto A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
Formation 1943
Type Non-profit corporation
Purpose Peace and justice advocacy
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Region served
United States
Executive Secretary
Diane Randall
Staff
40–50[1]
Website fcnl.org

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. FCNL works for social and economic justice, peace, stewardship of the environment, and good government in the United States.[2]

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.[3]

FCNL is a member of Win Without War and Alliance for Peacebuilding,[4] among other working groups and coalitions.

Mission[edit]

The organization's mission statement[5] has been in use since 1977 "as a guidance for considering Quaker stances on national legislation":[6]

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.

Organization[edit]

Establishment[edit]

FCNL was established on June 12–13, 1943 in Richmond, Indiana by Quakers from 15 yearly meetings.[7] It was preceded by the Friends War Problems Committee,[8] a three-year temporary lobbying organization against universal conscription.[9]

Funding[edit]

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.[10]

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.[11]

In 2016, FCNL had a budget of US$8.0 million and net assets of US$28.0 million.[12]

Positions[edit]

FCNL's legislative advocacy is based on their policy statement: The World We Seek[5] which identifies the organization's policy positions.

Policy positions for FCNL's work during the 114th Congress (2015-2016):[13]

  • Promote peacebuilding, diplomacy and the peaceful prevention and resolution of violent conflict with an emphasis on the Middle East.
  • Reduce military spending and armed interventions.
  • Promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • Advance equitable criminal justice systems that eliminate mass incarceration and support law-enforcement that is community-oriented and demilitarized.
  • Pursue policies that promote and respect the rights, safety, and dignity of all immigrants, refugees, and migrants.
  • Promote equitable access for all citizens to participation in the political process.
  • Promote policies that reduce income inequality and poverty; encourage fair compensation for workers and health care for all.
  • Work to end gun violence.
  • Witness and advocate on Native American concerns.
  • Advocate for sustainable solutions to climate disruption and its consequences.

Like other Quaker groups, FCNL's General Committee comes to unity on policy and priorities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Staff". Friends Committee on National Legislation. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  2. ^ http://fum.org/stories-faith-peacemaking
  3. ^ http://esr.earlham.edu/support/comprehensive-case/the-vine/the-quaker-testimonies
  4. ^ "Member Directory". Alliance for Peacebuilding. Retrieved July 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "The World We Seek: FCNL Legislative Policy Statement". Friends Committee on National Legislation. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  6. ^ Abbott, Margery Post (2014). A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying (PDF). FCNL Education Fund. p. 27. 
  7. ^ Wilson, E. Raymond (1976). Thus Far on My Journey. Richmond, Indiana: Friends United Press. pp. 150–155. 
  8. ^ "Friends Committee on National Legislation Records (DG 047), Swarthmore College Peace Collection". www.swarthmore.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  9. ^ Snyder, Edward F.; Cooper, Wilmer A.; Klineberg, Stephen L.; Volk, Joe; Reeves, Don (1994). Mullen, Tom, ed. Witness in Washington: 50 Years of Friendly Persuasion. Richmond, Indiana: Friends United Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-944350-34-8. 
  10. ^ "Friends Committee on National Legislation". projects.pewforum.org. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  11. ^ "Our Finances". Friends Committee on National Legislation. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  12. ^ "Consolidated Financial Statements". Friends Committee on National Legislation. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  13. ^ "Legislative Priorities for the 115th Congress". Friends Committee on National Legislation. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 

External links[edit]