[saymaListserv] FCNL Priority Setting

Roy H Taylor III wrldpeas at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 8 20:27:07 JEST 2006

Dear Friends,
I am SAYMA's Representative to Quaker Earthcare Witness, co-clerk of SAYMA's Ecological Concerns Network and Editor of the monthly Ecological Concerns Network Newsletter.  I am writing you about sending in your priority requests for FCNL adoption.  You have until April 30th to get them in.  I am hoping that you will read the letter posted below and include energy and the environment in your policy suggestions.
Have you sent in your FCNL Policy Priorities?
Please send me a copy of them if you have.  I would like to include them in an article that I am putting together for the newsletter.
Peace & Love,
If I have emailed the wrong person in your Meeting to address this, please forward this request to the correct person.
Dear Earthcare Friends,                                         February 
15, 2006

In January, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) sent a
mailing to every meeting and church in the yearly meetings associated with
FCNL. It asks Friends to participate in the Policy Committee's process of
determining legislative priorities for the Congress that will be elected in
November 2006.

For those of us who have been asking FCNL to work on energy and
environmental policy, promoting participation in FCNL's process of setting
its legislative priorities is very important right now. If this isn't
already happening in your meeting or church, please ask Friends to begin a
process of responding to the Policy Committee's request as soon as possible.
Responses are due to FCNL by April 30. The information you need is attached.
The response form is available on the FCNL website.

Why this is so important right now? In 2002, FCNL identified "reducing
dependence on oil" as a legislative priority - the first time a priority
related to "seeking an earth restored" had ever been approved. What made
this possible? First, FCNL's opposition to the War on Terror led to an
influx of financial support for FCNL from non-Quaker sources. Second,
"earthcare Friends" had increased their participation in the priorities
process. And third, FCNL leadership fully understood the short term and long
range importance of this issue.

In 2004, the priority on reducing oil dependence was expanded to include
"long-term environmental protection," but only limited staff time could be
allocated to this work. Now it is likely that advocacy on budget priorities
and on energy and environmental protection, formerly assigned to one
lobbyist, will each have their own lobbying team. This is wonderful news,
but it comes with a caution and a challenge.

At the Annual Meeting in November 2005, FCNL decided to operate for the next
two years with a deficit budget by drawing on accumulated reserves. It has
also embarked on a "New Names" project to increase FCNL's grassroots
financial support by 50% within two years. Such growth is necessary to
sustain its current level of lobbying activity. For FCNL to continue working
on "an earth restored," Friends will need to significantly increase their
financial support.

What can we do to help make this happen?
  .      A first step is to increase the number of meetings/churches that 
participate in the process of discerning FCNL's legislative priorities. A
concerted effort by earthcare Friends can make a huge difference in this
process. In 2004, only about 150 meetings/churches participated. This
request is going to Friends in more than 500 congregations. It is your
opportunity, right now, to increase the level of participation dramatically
Please make sure your meeting/church participates. If you have questions,
please contact Ed at 609/261-8190, or Hollister Knowlton, a member of the
FCNL Policy Committee, at 215/247-0718.

.       A second step is to increase the number of Friends who receive 
FCNL's communications and use FCNL's website. FCNL's experience is that many
Friends do this as a result of their participation in the priorities
process. Encourage Friends who participate in the priorities process to sign
up on line for FCNL's legislative updates on e-mail, which enable easy and
direct contact to elected officials. How does this help raise funds for
FCNL? Friends who get its mailings and use its website are apt to become
financial supporters of FCNL.

This is why it is so important for your meeting or church to participate in
setting FCNL's priorities.  Please encourage Friends who participate in this
process to subscribe to FCNL's newsletter and use its website. Please ask
both your monthly and yearly meetings to engage with FCNL.  And please help
Friends understand that we must increase our support of FCNL if we want to
sustain FCNL's witness for long term environmental protection as well as for
preventing violence and protecting human rights.

Peace with and for the Earth,

Barbara Williamson                      Ed Dreby
Clerk, QEW Steering Committee   QEW Representative to FCNL
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