Guest post by Morgana Warner-Evans ’16:
The CPGC and the Quaker Affairs Office are sponsoring students to travel to Washington, DC and participate in the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)’s Spring Lobbying Weekend in March. According to Rosemary Ventura ’16, an intern at the Quaker Affairs Office and one of the participants in last November’s Fall Annual Meeting and Lobby Day, “FCNL is a lobbying organization that focuses on a variety of issues related to peace, equality, simplicity and truth, all within the larger context of social, environmental and political issues.”
The theme of this spring’s lobbying weekend is “Endless War and Killer Robots: Not Viable Foreign Policy Tools”. FCNL’s website states that participants will “ask Congress to repeal the (2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force) that provides cover for drone strikes, expanding military action around the world, NSA spying and much more.”
Participants in the Fall Lobby Day expressed a more optimistic outlook on the effectiveness of citizen participation in government after lobbying their representatives. “It’s easy to forget that the US government is our government and we can make a difference in its working, our opinions count!” wrote Ellie Greenler ’17.
Clarianne Moscoso ’16 wrote, “if citizens from all backgrounds use their voice to state their concerns, change is possible. It can help pop the ‘Capitol Hill Bubble’ that many government officials live in, and remind them of their responsibility to help their constituents.”
Students will leave for the Spring Lobbying Weekend at 5:30 pm on Saturday, March 22, and return on Monday, March 24 by 4 pm. Applications are available here and are due on Sunday, March 2 at 11:59 p.m. It is best to register early so that FCNL can schedule lobby visits in advance. Participants’ training, transportation, housing, and food are covered.