July 1, 1968 MCC’s Peace Section opens the Washington Office, renting space from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Delton Franz, who remained as director until 1993, was the sole staff person.
Jan. 1969 The first issue of the Washington Memo is released, going to 200 subscribers. The numbers increased steadily over the years, peaking at 6,000 in the 1980s.
Sept. 1969 The office moves to the United Methodist Building, where it remained for nearly 40 years.
Oct. 1969 The office hosts its first seminar for constituents, the “Mennonite Churchmen’s Seminar,” which later becomes the Spring Seminar. Now the office participates in Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a broader ecumenical effort.
1970 The first “Action Bulletins” are sent. Renamed Hotlines and eventually “action alerts,” the first lists were: war/peace, draft, domestic poverty, international development, civil rights and civil liberties.
1992 Office launches a “Pastor in Residence” program.
Aug. 1994 J. Daryl Byler becomes director.
1999 Annual high school essay contest begins.
Sept. 2002 More than 17,000 Mennonites sign a petition against war with Iraq.
Feb. 2006 The office moves to its current location at 920 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.July 2007 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach starts as director.
May 2008 First posting on office blog at washingtonmemo.org.
April 2009 Office launches E-Memo, our monthly electronic update, as well as an automated way to contact legislators. The Memo is redesigned in full color.
Oct. 2017 Volunteer Advocacy Coordinators Network launched.