Changing hearts and minds in Washington, D.C.

AFSC’s tradition of bringing constituents to meet face-to-face with lawmakers is providing a beacon of hope for change within a frustrating political climate in Washington, D.C.

“Amid all the powerful influences on a member of Congress—moneyed special interests, party politics, media spin—the final cards are held by their voters. Money doesn’t vote,” says Aura Kanegis, director of AFSC’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington. “At the end of the day, policymakers work for their constituents, and the direct voice of constituent experience has unrivaled power to cut through political noise.”

And the emotional impact of their testimonies is undeniable.

“While change doesn’t happen in one conversation, face-to face sharing of the real-life implications of policy decisions can help to break the grip of slick special interests and pat political talking points,” Aura explains. “Over the long run, those voices of direct experience can impact the perceptions, assumptions, and motivations that drive a policymaker's decision process.”

Families split by immigration speak truth to power in D.C.

Seventy men, women, and children visited Washington, D.C., seeking justice for families divided by immigration. They described the impact of deportation and detention to an audience of 90 people in a briefing on Capitol Hill and during personal visits to lawmakers’ offices.

Upper Big Branch families plead for Congressional action on mine safety

Carrying enlarged photographs of their lost loved ones, family members of three of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine spent June 6-7 in Washington, D.C., pleading with lawmakers to take action to improve mine safety and to stiffen penalties for mining companies that knowingly, willingly, and recklessly place miners’ lives at risk.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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