Episode 75, recorded 04.15.2017: The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a non-partisan Quaker lobby that dates back to 1943. Speaking for its constituent Quakers, or “Friends,” the group leverages its nationwide network to advocate “social and economic justice, peace, care for the Earth, and good government,” according to its statement of legislative policy.
In this episode, E. Garnet Fay, the chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Illinois Conference of Churches, and David Kelm, a non-Quaker “friend of a Friend,” discuss the FCNL and its efforts to craft peace-oriented policy, including a recent focus on cutting Pentagon funding.
E. Garnet Fay
Having grown up on a farm in north-central Illinois, E. Garnet Fay graduated from Northwestern University and received a JD degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. An Oak Park resident, he practices law in the area of Wills and Trusts and Estate Administration with an office in the Monadnock Building in Chicago. An active member of the Society of Friends since joining as a “Convinced Friend” in 1979, he has been involved in a variety of Friends concerns, including serving on committees of the American Friends Service Committee, chairing the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago. Garnet presently chairs the Public Policy Committee of the Illinois Conference of Churches and serves on the board of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. He has long supported the Friends Committee on National Legislation, having headed the Development committee and served in other efforts of the FCNL.
David grew up in the country between Lockport and Lemont, IL. When he realized his mother would not be able to afford his college tuition he decided to become a hair stylist and work his way through. He got his BA from Concordia University in 1992 in a returning adult degree completion program. During the thirty years between high school and his BA, he had a successful career as an owner-stylist. David sees himself, like many today, as spiritual but not religious. His thinking has been strongly influenced by ‘A Course in Miracles’, the writings of Eckhart Tolle, the skill set known as ‘Non-Violent Communication’, the trainings of the ManKind Project and in being a Laughter Yoga Facilitator. David, though not a Quaker, is referred to as a FOF (friend of a Friend) and as such has attended four annual national lobby days in DC, where he first became aware of the Advocacy Team concept. On the night of the election he was on a train to DC for last year’s annual meeting and he decided bringing the Advocacy Team home would be his way of ‘turning the other cheek.’
For More Information
Episode Producer: Tom Broderick
Sound Recording: Charles Austin
Post-production: Charles Austin
Web Page: Charles Austin and Bob Roman