• Information from the NPR about the Polish Visa Waiver Program

    Interesting read from the NPR!

    http://www.npr.org/2015/09/05/437873853/left-out-of-visa-waiver-program-polish-visitors-ask-why-not-us

  • Poland !!! Yes. Polska !!! Tak.

  • Kirk-Mikulski Amendment to Allow Polish Citizens Visa-Free Travel to U.S. Passes Committee

    Homeland Security Funding Bill with Bipartisan Kirk-Mikulski Provision to Allow Poland’s Inclusion in Visa Waiver Program Heads to Senate Floor

     Including Key Democratic Ally Poland in Program Would Boost Tourism to Chicago

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today led a successful effort to include bipartisan legislation allowing Polish citizens visa-free travel to the U.S. in the fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill. The Appropriations Committee approved in a voice vote Senator Kirk’s amendment, which would allow DHS to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

    “With nearly one million Illinois residents with Polish ancestry, our doors should be open to Polish citizens who want to visit our state,” Senator Kirk said. “The Kirk-Mikulski amendment brings us closer to eliminating unnecessary red tape for Polish visitors and treating Poland the same way we treat our other democratic allies.”

    Senator Kirk has also introduced S.1507, bipartisan legislation with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) earlier this month. The amendment would give the secretary of DHS the discretion to include Poland and other allies in the VWP, allowing their citizens up to 90 days of visa-free travel to the United States, if they meet certain requirements. Currently 38 countries, including 30 in Europe, are part of the VWP, but outdated requirements exclude Poland, a key democratic ally.

    According to the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), direct spending in the United States from visiting travelers totaled $888 billion in 2013 and helped employ 7.9 million Americans. The VWP was responsible for more than 19.5 million travelers who visited the United States in 2013. An average overseas visitor will spend $4,300 in the U.S. per trip. Expanding the VWP to include Poland would boost tourism to Chicago, the home of more citizens of Polish descent than any city in the world outside Warsaw

    Senator Kirk has long been a staunch supporter of Poland and advocate for U.S.-Polish relations. He was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in 2012. Senator Kirk has worked toward passing legislation to expand the VWP to include Poland and has fought to strengthen U.S.-Polish cooperation on ballistic missile defense.

    The fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act was approved by the Appropriations Committee by a bipartisan vote of 26 to 4 and now heads to the Senate floor.

  • New Amendment to Include Poland into the Visa Waiver Program


    U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) offered an amendment to the fiscal year 2016 Homeland Security appropriations bill that would authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to admit Poland as a program country under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

    Read the entire press release on Mike Quigley’s website and make sure to become or renew your membership today to make sure we continue the fight as long as it takes to happen!

    We want to hear your opinion on the Illinois budget concerns!

    The debate on the Illinois budget has hit a wall between Michael Madigan and Bruce Rauner. The only thing both sides can agree on is that Illinois is severely in debt and is the worst financially run state in the country.

    Both sides offering differing solutions to the problem. Michael Madigan has proposed a budget that is $4 billion out of balance while making sure legislators get paid even without a budget. He also earmarked a $35 million dollar school in his district while Chicago schools are closing left and right. 

    Bruce Rauner believes that Illinois cannot keep kicking the ball down the road and cuts to state programs are inevitable and a must. Just as private individuals need to cut their expenses when credit card debt becomes excessive, so does the State of Illinois. He also believes in freezing property taxes, calling for term limits for legislators, and reforming the workers compensation system.

    We want to know from you…

    With whom do you side with during the Illinois budget debate? (Click to vote)
    Bruce Rauner
    Michael Madigan

    Stay tuned to our Facebook Fan Page to see the results!

  • Contact Your Representatives!

    Tell your representatives to support the JOLT Act today!

  • The Fourth Partition: Chicago’s Polish Immigrants – Award Winning Documentary Airing Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Tune in to WTTW11

    Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    for the award-winning documentary “The Fourth Partition: Chicago’s Polish Immigrants”

    WTTW11 Presents:  “The Fourth Partition – Chicago’s Polish Immigrants at the Dawn of the 20th Century”. This documentary film tells a unique and mostly unknown story of the hardships and triumphs of the Polish community during Chicago’s industrial Peak.

    At the Dawn of the 20th century, Chicago was the second largest city in the United States with over 2,000,000 residents. It was also the center of Polish culture and political activism in America. With Poland partitioned between Russia, Austria and Germany, over 4,000,000 Poles immigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1920 in search of a better life. In Chicago, they worked in some of the most dangerous factories and mills in the United States. In their neighborhoods, they struggled to build communities, churches, and most of all, aid their beloved Poland in her fight for independence. Their story is known as the “Fourth Partition”.

    Created by Adrian Prawica (Director & Executive Producer) and Rafał Muskała (Associate Producer), the film was awarded the “Popular Award” at the 2014 Polish Film Festival in Vancouver, Ca.  It also won “The Discovering Eye Award” at the 25th Annual Polish Film Festival in America, and “Best Debut Award” at the 20th Annual Polish Film Festival in Ann Arbor, MI.

    Adrian Prawica is a Chicago based cinematographer and video producer, and has resided in the Chicagoland area since the age of 10.  His cinematography work in journalism and advertising has been featured on major television networks in the US and abroad.  Rafał Muskała is journalist and radio co-host on Chicago’s 1080AM Radio, serving the Polish Community, residing in Chicago since the age of 24.

     

    Originally posted on http://www.polish.org/en/events/11-the-fourth-partition-chicago-s-polish-immigrants-award-winning-documentary

  • PAL-PAC / PACC Holiday Party Video

    Check out our video from our Holiday Party!

     

  • Rahm Emanuel Leads Poll Among Polish Voters in Chicago

    Jan2014Poll.fw

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    (PAL-PAC) Chicago, IL. – A Polish-American political action committee in Chicago called PAL-PAC.org has just released the results from a poll it conducted among its thousands of members in the Chicagoland area. The question posed was “If the Chicago Mayoral election were today, which candidate would you vote for?” and it then listed the 5 major candidates as options as well as an option to select “undecided”.

    The results of the poll were;

    Sample Size = 500
    Margin of Error = ± 4%
    Jan 14th – Jan 16th

    Rahm Emanuel = 41%
    Robert Fioretti = 24%
    Jesús “Chuy” García = 12% 
    William “Dock” Walls = 3%
    Willie Wilson = 3%
    Undecided = 18%

    The results of this particular poll show that Rahm Emanuel has a decisive lead on other candidates, but does not have a “50% +1” lead needed to stave off a run-off election in April unless he manages to secure more than 50% of the undecided vote.

  • Did the Polish-American Vote Just Sway the IL Gubernatorial Race?

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    (PAL-PAC) Chicago, IL. – We think it may have been one of the deciding factors.

    After Tuesday’s stunning victory by Bruce Rauner over incumbent Pat Quinn in the IL Gubernatorial race many pollsters are scratching their heads on how Rauner was able to win so soundly while their polls showed a slight Quinn advantage in the recent polls.

    We have always believed that the polls have under-represented the Polish-American vote. Since it’s difficult to track who is a Polish-American or not, we don’t necessarily blame them. But we believe it was a large factor leading to Rauner’s victory, especially once the Polish-Americans were politically energized.

    Pal-Pac, the Polish-American SuperPAC launched in 2012, has been engaging Polish-American’s into the race for governor since well before the primaries. They’ve held two candidate forums for Polonia, engaged Poles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and were the only ones to run political ads on Polish Television, Polish radio, and Polish newspapers and magazines leading up to this election.

    Simply put, Polish-Americans were ready and hungry to go out and vote as soon as they could like never before. We believe that the results in Cook County show that this was the case. Cook County received over 20,000 more votes for the Republican challenger this time than 4 years ago. Exit polls showed no meaningful gains in any of the traditionally held demographics, which leads us to believe that the increase could very well be attributed to the energized Polish-American base.

    It will be difficult for anyone to prove this concretely, but Pal-Pac and the Polish-American community can sure make a compelling case.

    In the last year alone, Pal-Pac has engaged over 2,000,000 Poles on their hugely popular social media accounts, attracted over 100,000 unique Polish-American’s to their website, and most recently aired 100’s of Polish language advertisements in Polish media and television.

    Of the 6 Democrats and Republicans Pal-Pac endorsed this election, 5 won their elections outright. These includes; Bruce Rauner for IL Governor, Rick Snyder for MI Governor, Bob Dold for U.S. Representative, Dan Lipinski for U.S. Representative and James Pieczonka for Cook County Judge.

    With an astonishing record like that this election, Polish-Americans are sure to become even more mobilized next election cycle.

    Did Quinn make a mistake by not seeking an endorsement and ignoring requests for meetings with the new the energized Polish-American base? We think so.

    We believe that future candidates, the media, and pollsters will now have to take the Polish-American voice in Illinois a little more seriously.

    One can only hope but if not, no big deal, this new politically informed Polonia isn’t going anywhere.

     

    What do you think?

    PAL-PAC Wants Your Opinion!
    Did the Polish-American vote sway the IL Gubernational election?
  • I’m a Democrat, why should I vote for a Republican like Bruce Rauner?

    Good question.

    As a bi-partisan organization, we understand how hard it is to vote for the other party.

    But if you believe that Polish-Americans should be more respected in Illinois government, you can have a huge impact by voting together with us this election for Bruce Rauner.
    Polonia has an amazing opportunity to show it’s political strength today at the polls.

    Because the race this year is so close, we can show Springfield that Polish-Americans matter politically. By voting together for a candidate, pollsters, future candidates, the media, and Springfield will have to consider the Polish-American vote in future elections.

     

    Still not convinced?

    We carefully vetted Bruce Rauner before endorsing him as the candidate best for Polonia. But before we endorsed him, we invited Quinn to meet and discuss with Polish-Americans many times in the last few years.

    Each time Quinn has ignored us.

    Rauner, on the other hand, has pledged his future support for Polonia many times.

    Quinn has completely ignored and even slighted Polish-Americans in the last couple years, Polonia cannot accept this. If we vote together today for Rauner, Springfield will have no choice but to start listening to us.

    A vote for Rauner in this election is not for the Republicans, it’s for Polonia.