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Dec 5, 2023

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First Polish American Reception
On Capitol Hill

Hosted By American Polish Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, May 12, the American Polish Advisory Council hosted a Polish American reception and networking event with members of the Congressional and Senate Caucus on Poland at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

In photo: APAC’s Executive Director Darek Barcikowski presents Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur with an award in recognition of her leadership on Polish American issues and commitment to strengthening the US – Poland relationship

The first time event was attended by Polish American community leaders from across the country and presented an opportunity to meet and network with members of Congress and their staff.

“We have received very positive feedback about the event, so much so that I think we are certain it will become an annual tradition,” said Amb. Lt. Gen. Edward Rowny, President of the American Polish Advisory Council pointing out that the reception was written up by Roll Call, a daily newspaper covering Congressional affairs.

The American Polish Advisory Council presented an award to Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio in recognition of her leadership on Polish American issues. “I am a lover of Poland and a citizen of great expectations for her future” said Kaptur in her remarks highlighting her support for building political and military relations between the US and Poland. “I am hoping that through the Partnership For Peace we can build much stronger relationships with Poland as a new standard bearer for liberty in that part of Central Europe,” said Kaptur, pointing out that she wishes to see more Polish Americans run for Congress.

IMG_0474forwebOne such candidate, three term mayor of Allentown, PA who recently announced his bid for the US Senate, Ed Pawlowski, was also in attendance.

The commitment to strengthening relations between the US and Poland was also echoed by Juan Hinojosa, Chief of Staff to Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois. “Congressman Quigley is committed to representing his Polish American constituents and is a tireless advocate for Poland’s acceptance to the Visa Waiver Program,” said Hinojosa.

Photo right: President of the Kosciuszko Foundation John S. Micgiel with Ed Pawlowski, mayor of Allentown, PA and candidate for US Senate

Michael Lisowski, legislative assistant to Representative Joe Heck of Nevada pointed out the size of the Polish American community in that state and spoke about a recent meeting between the Congressman, who is a cosponsor of the JOLT Act, and John Petkus, Poland’s Honorary Consul in Nevada. “Las Vegas is the world tourism capital,” said Lisowski, “we want tourists from Poland to be able to visit our state, stay at our hotels, shop at our malls and enjoy our shows without the burden of having to obtain a tourist visa.”

“Don’t be fooled by Senator Murphy’s name, he is three quarters Polish”, said Michael Bednarczyk, legislative assistant to Senator Christopher Murphy of Connecticut who also spoke about the Senator’s commitment to his Polish American constituents.

“As a Polish American that represents a congressional district that is home to more than 100,000 Polish Americans, I’m proud to be part of the Congressional Caucus on Poland for the 114th Congress. This group provides a bipartisan platform to champion causes near and dear to Polish-Americans.  Poland has been a true friend of the United States.  Over the next two years, I look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with this key partner and valuable ally that has demonstrated countless times a capacity and willingness to act for the common good beyond its own borders,” said Representative Dan Lipinski in a statement delivered by his Chief of Staff Eric Lausten.

IMG_0450forweb“The American Polish Advisory Council is committed to working with members of the Congressional Caucus on Poland in their pursuit of their agenda laid out for the 114th Congress and of issues that impact the Polish American community as a whole and shape the U.S. – Poland relationship. But we are also committed to ensuring that the collective voice of the over 10 million Polish Americans in the United States is heard loud and clear here on Capitol Hill and that our concerns are part of the dialogue that shapes these efforts”, said Darek Barcikowski, executive director of the American Polish Advisory Council in his welcoming remarks.

In photo left: Edwarda Buda-Okreglak and Richard Zbigniew Okreglak of John Hopkins University with President of the American Polish Advisory Council Edward Rowny

The American Polish Advisory Council is a Washington, DC based bipartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage Polish Americans politically and represent Polish American political interests in Washington and beyond.

By Darek Barcikowski

Photos courtesy of APAC