Culp—David Marshall Culp Jr., on February 6, 2017, in his apartment on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. David was born on March 15, 1950, in Huntington, Ind., and during his time in Indiana he lobbied the state legislature to preserve the environment. He moved to Washington in the late ’80s and worked tirelessly on reducing the threat of nuclear weapons for Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), where he was lead lobbyist on nuclear disarmament. His passion for this work and for protecting the outdoors informed his life. He was the dean of lobbyists in the arms control community and was one of the most strategic, focused lobbyists at FCNL, where for more than 15 years he led efforts to defeat three separate proposals to build new nuclear weapons. During the campaign to win Senate ratification of New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), the treaty that reduced the number of deployed nuclear weapons in Russia and the United States, his list of swing senators was used by constituents, senators, and the White House as the basis for much of their advocacy work. Highly regarded on Capitol Hill for his strategic political insight, for his direct communication with members of Congress and staff, and for his abiding commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons, he offered advice to the broader community on lobbying campaigns and on mobilizing constituents. FCNL executive secretary Diane Randall noted, “His sense of humor and his willingness to offer insight and encouragement to others—particularly the young program assistants who worked with him over the years—have made FCNL and the Washington peace community better.” He was also a forceful advocate for D.C. statehood, and he canvassed and made phone calls for candidates for city council, mayor, and president of the United States.
But his life wasn’t limited to the political arena. David worked on the cleanup of the Anacostia River and loved to lead conservation walks, marveling in the beauty of the hills around the city and in the number of species of birds that abound there. He was an avid birdwatcher and in recent years led walks in Fort DuPont Park as part of the Wild Washington Walk Series. The FCNL community mourns the loss of this colleague and friend. Although he was not a member of a meeting, he devoted his life to working for the greater good.
He is survived by his brother, Paul Culp; and his sister, Katie Wysong. Condolences can be sent to Paul Culp, 312 W. Slade Street, Palatine, IL 60067.