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Advocacy in Action

Students Join the Quaker Public Policy Institute to Lobby on Capitol Hill

On November 14-15, fifteen Friends upper school students joined the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) in Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to repeal the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). Nearly two decades of war hasn’t brought more peace. It’s time for Congress to take back its authority to oversee how and when the U.S. goes to war. Of the 400 Quakers from across the nation who gathered to lobby with FCNL during the Quaker Public Policy Institute conference, many expressed how pleased they were to have the student voices join them in their insistence that the AUMF repeal make it into law.

Over the summer there has been some major successes in this effort to repeal the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF): the House of Representatives approved amendments to repeal both the 2001 AUMF, which has been used as a blank check for endless war, and the 2002 AUMF, which authorized war against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime. The House also voted to prevent war with Iran and to end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The fate of these critical measures will be decided by House and Senate negotiators by the end of 2019. 

After a day spent learning about the issues related to the legislative ask and preparing advocacy team messages, student lobbyists spent the second day meeting with Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. Students participating in the lobbying efforts included: Carmen Karreth de Miguel, Charlie Harrison, Hilary Barkey, Isaac Rubenstein, Julian Heller, Mason Bunton, Neelan Martin, Nicholas Annenberg, Nylu Bernshtayn, Paige Halverstadt, Sam Levinthal, Sam Moorison, Tenzin Gund-Morrow, Theodora Lyne, and Zachary Dill. Chaperones from the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice were Leitzel Schoen, Jason Craige Harris, and Kimby Heil.
Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.

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