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The Friends Committee on Legislation of California (FCLCA), guided by Quaker values, advocates for California state laws that are just, compassionate and respectful of the inherent worth of every person.
Sixty-Five Years of Witness at the Capitol
It began in the darkest days of the McCarthy era. In a climate marked by the repression of civil rights, Russ Jorgensen, an activist with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), joined with other courageous Quakers who stood up to fearmongering and put their values into practice.
In the early years, FCLCA opposed the loyalty oath amendment to California’s constitution, universal military training (precursor to the draft) and then - as now - worked to abolish capital punishment.
Through a combination of lobbying, grassroots activism, education and respectful dialogue, FCLCA has played a key role in many issues:
- Reform of the criminal justice system
- Equal opportunity in jobs, housing, education
- Civil liberties for people with AIDS
- Rights of minorities, young people, women and the poor
- Juvenile Justice
- Militarism in schools
- Farmworker rights and working conditions
- Funding for human services and education
And over the six decades, FCLCA has built a strong reputation at the Capitol as a thoughtful voice of conscience - and that means that legislators and their staff listen when FCLCA weighs in.
In 2017, we celebrated 65 years of advocacy. Bills may come and go, but the need for a voice that looks at legislation through the lens of the inherent worth and dignity of every individual will never go away.