Friends Committee on National Legislation - FCNL

Friends Committee on National Legislation - FCNL Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a national nonpartisan Quaker organization that The Friends Committee on National Legislation's (FCNL) seeks:

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.

Operating as usual

The rural vaccination rate is currently about 20% lower than the metropolitan vaccination rate. As of December 9, only 4...
12/20/2021
Why Are Rural Americans Dying Twice as Fast from Covid-19? - The Daily Yonder

The rural vaccination rate is currently about 20% lower than the metropolitan vaccination rate. As of December 9, only 46.4% of the total rural population was completely vaccinated, versus 58.8% of people living in metropolitan counties.

The pandemic death rate in rural America is two times higher than the metropolitan rate, primarily because rural Americans have been slower to get

The Native American residents of an island that in less than a century has nearly entirely eroded into the Gulf of Mexic...
12/17/2021
Weathering the Storm | Retreat to Higher Ground

The Native American residents of an island that in less than a century has nearly entirely eroded into the Gulf of Mexico are getting new houses that will be higher, drier and safer than the ones of their hurricane-prone homeland.

Native American tribe part of first federally funded climate migration

Over the 10 years that Diane Randall served as General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)...
12/17/2021
Rep. Barbara Lee: "Diane is truly one who speaks truth to power." | Friends Committee On National Legislation

Over the 10 years that Diane Randall served as General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), she has lead this remarkable community to do impressive work for peace, justice, and the environment.

On Dec. 14, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) submitted the following statement into the official Congressional Record, in celebration of Diane’s decade of leadership at FCNL.

On Dec. 14, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) submitted the following statement into the official Congressional Record, in celebration of Diane’s decade of leadership at FCNL.

As part of Operation Allies Welcome, the United States has helped evacuate about 83,000 Afghan nationals, American citiz...
12/17/2021
“It’s not over and they have to fix what they did”: An Afghan refugee demands the US not forget her family

As part of Operation Allies Welcome, the United States has helped evacuate about 83,000 Afghan nationals, American citizens, and legal permanent residents from the country. About 40 percent of this group worked for or on behalf of the US government or are family members of people who did.

Weeda was lucky enough to get a visa and move to Berkeley. But how can she start a new life when she can't get her mother and siblings out of Afghanistan?

A petroleum leak from a U.S. Navy facility has contaminated Honolulu's drinking water supply. Samples from the Red Hill ...
12/16/2021
Thousands displaced from Oahu military base due to contamination in Navy water system

A petroleum leak from a U.S. Navy facility has contaminated Honolulu's drinking water supply. Samples from the Red Hill Shaft contained petroleum levels that were 350 times the level considered safe. Some 3,000 military members and their families have been relocated to temporary housing.

State health officials said samples from the Red Hill shaft contained petroleum levels 350 times the level considered safe. Some 3,000 military members and families were moved to temporary housing.

About three-in-ten U.S. adults are now religiously unaffiliated. Self-identified Christians make up 63% of U.S. populati...
12/16/2021
What's your religion? In US, a common reply now is "None" | AP News

About three-in-ten U.S. adults are now religiously unaffiliated. Self-identified Christians make up 63% of U.S. population in 2021, down from 75% a decade ago.

Nathalie Charles, even in her mid-teens, felt unwelcome in her Baptist congregation, with its conservative views on immigration, gender and sexuality. So she left. “I just don’t feel like that gelled with my view of what God is and what God can be,” said Charles, an 18-year-old of Haitian desc...

Phyllis Taylor's company, Taylor Energy, operates an oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that has been leaking s...
12/15/2021
A Massive Oil Spill Helped One Billionaire Avoid Paying Income Tax for 14 Years

Phyllis Taylor's company, Taylor Energy, operates an oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that has been leaking since 2004. It is the longest-running — and by one estimate, the largest — U.S. oil spill ever recorded,

Phyllis Taylor’s company is responsible for the longest-running oil spill in U.S. history. That’s been a disaster for the Gulf of Mexico — but a tax bonanza for Taylor.

12/15/2021
National Faith Leaders, U.S. Senators: Pass Build Back Better!

On Wednesday, faith groups representing a broad swath of the American religious community will join U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in a final push to pass Build Back Better, sweeping legislation that will bring down the biggest costs working families face – from housing to prescription drugs to child care.

Wednesday’s press conference will bring together leaders from various Christian and Jewish communities all attesting to the importance of the legislation to their communities, and the need for Congress to complete its work on the bill before the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 15
2:30 PM EST / 11:30 AM PST

Negotiations, conversations, and votes are occurring constantly in Congress that either perpetuate climate change or pro...
12/15/2021
Quaker Advocates Answer Urgent Call to Act on Climate Justice | Friends Committee On National Legislation

Negotiations, conversations, and votes are occurring constantly in Congress that either perpetuate climate change or protect the environment. A priority for FCNL in the 117th Congress is the Environmental Justice for All Act (S. 872/H.R. 5986).

The rapid destruction of the natural world and the increasingly devastating effects of climate change leave us with an urgent call to act for restorative policies that would mitigate climate change’s effects.

Today, nine years after the shooting, we hold in the Light  the 20 children and 6 adults killed and injured at Sandy Hoo...
12/14/2021
Too Many Guns, Too Many Children Killed | Friends Committee On National Legislation

Today, nine years after the shooting, we hold in the Light the 20 children and 6 adults killed and injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Friend Peter Murchison remembers.

Earlier this spring, I went to Hartford, CT, to give testimony on gun violence prevention bills and to support others doing the same. There was a diverse crowd ranging from gun safety advocates to “open carry” groups. I was there to advocate for laws I believe would reduce injuries and death by ...

"Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no ...
12/14/2021
The Nobel Peace Prize 2021

"Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy, and it becomes impossible to deal with our world’s existential problems: climate, coronavirus, the battle for truth."

The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 was awarded jointly to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace".

12/13/2021

On Wednesday, Senators will join faith groups to lift up the opportunity to substantially reduce poverty by extending the Child Tax Credit and other anti-poverty provisions of the Build Back Better bill.

Watch online Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 PM Eastern/11:30 PM Pacific

We should all call on Congress to stop the madness of ever-mushrooming war budgets and substitute for them the pursuit o...
12/13/2021
The U.S. Military Budget as a Mushroom Cloud

We should all call on Congress to stop the madness of ever-mushrooming war budgets and substitute for them the pursuit of peace through wisdom and restraint. This time, we truly can’t allow America’s numerous smoking guns to turn into so many mushroom clouds above our beleaguered planet.

Where are you going to get the money?  That question haunts congressional proposals to help the poor, the unhoused, and those struggling to pay the mortgage or rent or medical bills, among so many other

Anti-Muslim hate has existed in American society and politics for centuries, but after 9/11, it was turbocharged and tur...
12/12/2021
Why do elected leaders keep getting a pass on anti-Muslim hate?

Anti-Muslim hate has existed in American society and politics for centuries, but after 9/11, it was turbocharged and turned into an enduring political weapon. There is a direct line connecting anti-Muslim and antisemitic political attacks to violence.

(RNS) — There is a direct line connecting anti-Muslim and antisemitic political attacks to violence.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed labor uprising in U.S. history....
12/11/2021
The Unexpected, Radical Roots of ‘Redneck’ - The Daily Yonder

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed labor uprising in U.S. history. At the time, miners were fed up with low wages, dangerous jobs and endless debt to their employers. During the 1920s and 1930s, it also came to mean “a Communist” and was used by coal operators to denigrate miners in the Appalachian coalfields.

The term redneck is a common slur for backwoods hillbillies, but at one point in history it was used to spread fear of communist militants.

A Congress controlled by Democrats is moving to expend $768.1 billion on Pentagon projects that will pour precious feder...
12/10/2021
“Shameful”: The Democratic-Led House Approves a Massive Military Spending Bill

A Congress controlled by Democrats is moving to expend $768.1 billion on Pentagon projects that will pour precious federal resources into the bank accounts of defense contractors. That’s tens of billions more than President Joe Biden requested, and many tens of billions more than was authorized by the previous administration last December.

“Don’t ever tell me we can’t afford to invest in our communities when we just approved $778 billion for the Pentagon,” said California Representative Barbara Lee.

Experts on democracy warn that America is sleepwalking toward a disaster, a situation where the electoral playing field ...
12/10/2021
American democracy is tottering. It’s not clear Americans care.

Experts on democracy warn that America is sleepwalking toward a disaster, a situation where the electoral playing field is so tilted in the GOP’s favor that America’s people no longer have a meaningful voice in who rules them

Biden’s Summit for Democracy is supposed to highlight democracy’s global plight. But in America, not many people are paying attention.

Some researchers say the partisan rift in the United States has become so extreme that the country may be at a point of ...
12/09/2021
The political divide in the United States has become irreconcilable, study says

Some researchers say the partisan rift in the United States has become so extreme that the country may be at a point of no return. A new theoretical model indicates that "the pandemic failing to unite the country, despite political differences, is a signal that the U.S. is at a disconcerting tipping point."

The U.S. is at dangerous "level of polarization,” political scientists warn

At the end of their gathering, heads of seven Quaker agencies called on Friends "to be humble and to be bold, to be fait...
12/09/2021
Quaker Leaders Recommit to Work of Building Just World for All | Friends Committee On National Legislation

At the end of their gathering, heads of seven Quaker agencies called on Friends "to be humble and to be bold, to be faithful and determined, to work inwardly and outwardly, within our Quaker communities and outside them..."

On Dec. 6-8, FCNL’s outgoing General Secretary Diane Randall and incoming leader Bridget Moix joined leaders from Quaker Agencies in London to mark a time of transition in our leadership and our work. Together they affirmed their collective commitment to working to build the just and peaceful worl...

A new investigation finds that "east of the Rockies, more rain is falling, and it’s coming in more intense bursts...In t...
12/08/2021
USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America

A new investigation finds that "east of the Rockies, more rain is falling, and it’s coming in more intense bursts...In the West, people are waiting longer to see any rain at all."

"East of the Rockies, more rain is falling, and it’s coming in more intense bursts. In the West, people are waiting longer to see any rain at all."

On. Dec. 8, the Supreme Court will hear the case Carson v. Makin. It focuses on whether the First Amendment compels indi...
12/08/2021
The Supreme Court’s New Religious Liberty Case Could Destroy Public Education

On. Dec. 8, the Supreme Court will hear the case Carson v. Makin. It focuses on whether the First Amendment compels individuals of every faith to help finance the indoctrination of children by conservative Christians to discriminate against LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and liberal Christians.

A conservative supermajority may soon force states to fund Christian schools that indoctrinate students with hate.

As long as there have been income taxes, there have been schemes to manufacture illusory losses that reduce taxes, and t...
12/07/2021
These Real Estate and Oil Tycoons Avoided Paying Taxes for Years

As long as there have been income taxes, there have been schemes to manufacture illusory losses that reduce taxes, and there have likewise been counter efforts by Congress and the IRS to rein them in. But these efforts are not working.

Donald Trump and other ultrarich Americans have earned billions, but they’ve also managed to repeatedly avoid paying any federal income tax by claiming huge losses on their businesses.

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds widespread racial discrimination in rental markets. By a...
12/07/2021
Black and Hispanic renters experience discrimination in almost every major American city

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds widespread racial discrimination in rental markets. By and large, property managers are less likely to respond to prospective Black and Hispanic tenants when they inquire about open listings.

A new study finds that property managers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Houston, and Providence are least likely to answer prospective Black and Hispanic tenants.

The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $216 million in federal funding to help tribes adapt to or relocate awa...
12/06/2021
An Alaskan village’s sole school is 64 feet away from a river’s edge. Inside the community’s struggle to avoid disaster.

The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $216 million in federal funding to help tribes adapt to or relocate away from environmentally vulnerable areas. However, the Alaska Federation of Natives estimates $4.5 billion is needed to protect Alaska Native communities’ infrastructure over the next 50 years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2021/11/30/alaska-napakiak-river-erosion-school/?itid=sf_lifestyle-magazine#

The Kuskokwim River provides the lifeblood for Napakiak’s 370 residents. Now, erosion — accelerated by climate change — threatens their existence.

Neither industrial polluters nor the regulators who govern them know exactly how much hazardous air pollution is billowi...
12/05/2021
They Knew Industrial Pollution Was Ruining the Neighborhood’s Air. If Only Regulators Had Listened.

Neither industrial polluters nor the regulators who govern them know exactly how much hazardous air pollution is billowing out of smokestacks at any given time, nor the degree to which that pollution is finding its way into surrounding neighborhoods. The law doesn’t require them to.

Raw throats, burning eyes, strong acid smells. Air monitoring that showed chemicals linked to leukemia. Barbara Weckesser and her neighbors told regulators that air pollution was making them sick. The law let them ignore her.

Amid multiple all-out wars, ongoing skirmishes, and a 14-year blockade, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is ...
12/04/2021
The Reconstruction of Gaza Has Been a Failure

Amid multiple all-out wars, ongoing skirmishes, and a 14-year blockade, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is now so severe that about 50% of children suffer from water-related infections and 12% of deaths of young children in Gaza are linked to intestinal infections from contaminated water.

The 2014 plan has largely institutionalized Israel’s control of the region and failed Gazans.

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