Lobbying Friends

July 30, 2013

Last week I visited the offices of the offices of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a Quaker lobby group in Washington, D.C. The group does some great work on critical public policy issues, so I was excited to stop by when they hosted the event last week on "Breaking of the Fast to Close Guantanamo" (see post here). FCNL Executive Secretary Diane Randall spoke at the event (the first photo is one I took of her speaking). Founded seventy years ago, the FCNL was the first religious advocacy group to register as a lobbying organization (and remains one of the few registered with that status). The original office space for the Mennonite Central Committee - Washington Office was in the FCNL's offices. The FCNL's guiding statement (part of which can be seen in the background behind Randall) articulates their goals:
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
The group, one of the key prophetic voices in Washington on issues of peace and justice, does a good job of actively getting its message out through social media and various mainstream publications. Their building also embodies their values as they took a Civil War-era structure and renovated it with numerous green features (the second photo is one I took of one side of their building). It is exciting to see a religious group give much deliberate thought to their building design, since architecture can impact the way to think and act. Hopefully from that building across the street from the Hart Senate Office Building, the FCNL will continue to offer a prophetic moral voice in Washington.


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