Meeting Report

February 16, 2014

Kevan Insko

Why We Need a Voice of Conscience and Reason at the Capitol and What You Can Do About It

Close to twenty people enjoyed and participated in Kevan Insko’s very informative presentation.

At one point in her talk, Ms. Insko said, “Mostly we stop bad bills.” She was explaining to us her organization’s lobbying work with the California Legislature and the Office of the Governor.

Ms. Insko is Director of Development and Outreach for the Friends Committee on Legislation of California (FCLCA). Although this organization was begun in the 1950s by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in reaction to McCarthyism, its membership is open to all. Its vision is the enactment of “California state laws that are just, compassionate and respectful of the inherent worth of every person.”

Public input to the Legislature is very important, Ms. Insko said, especially while a proposed bill is before a committee. Although FCLCA sent nine thousand messages to legislators and the governor last year, a mere twenty from the public can have an impact. One success FCLCA achieved recently was the passage of S260, which requires that juveniles serving long prison terms be given a chance at parole.

In response to a question about how FCLCA arrives at its position on an issue, Ms. Insko replied that its board of directors must “come to unity” on the recommendation by a committee. Among its current concerns are overcrowding in California prisons and the ongoing requirement that university professors sign a loyalty oath as a condition of employment. They regard the latter as a separation of church and state issue. Much more information on this organization is available at the FCLCA Web Site.

Our thanks go to Kevan Insko for a presentation that was interesting, enlightening and enjoyable.

Report prepared by Roger Zabkie

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