• PAL-PAC Announces 2014 Candidate Endorsements

    The Polish-American Leadership Political Action Committee is proud to endorse the following candidates running for office in the upcoming election: Bruce Rauner for Governor; Bob Dold for U.S. Representative, 10th District; Dan Lipinski for U.S. Representative, 3rd District; Rod Drobinski for State Representative, 62nd District; James Pieczonka for Cook County Judge, 12th Subcircuit. PAL-PAC may announce additional endorsements in the future.

    Each candidate was carefully vetted and interviewed to make sure their beliefs will align with what is best for Polish-American’s across Illinois and the United States. The candidate’s main opponents were also invited to our events and candidate forums in order to gain a better picture of the candidate and their opponent. With all this information, our final endorsements are located below.

     

    Bruce Rauner at PAL-PAC Candidates ForumPAL-PAC believes that Bruce Rauner is the candidate for Governor who shares most of the ideals of the Polish-American community in Illinois including: reducing personal and corporate income taxes, controlling property taxes, reforming the government to increase efficiency and reduce spending, and lowering the cost of doing business in Illinois. Mr. Rauner’s success is admirable; as governor, he plans on implementing policies that would make it easier for everyone to be successful.

    Mr. Rauner stated to PAL-PAC, “it is in our state’s interest to do everything we can to improve and expand the Illinois-Poland relationship”. Mr. Rauner wants to limit the terms of elected officials, an initiative that PAL-PAC believes will improve the political system in our State and make it more possible for Polish-Americans to be elected to office.

    The Polish–American community cannot afford to re-elect Governor Quinn, who is currently under investigation for improper hiring practices and misusing funds from the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, who has driven this State into the worst financial shape than any state in our country, and whose policies have led Illinois to become the only state in the Midwest where unemployment has gone up in the last five years. Governor Quinn was also invited to all events and candidate forums that PAL-PAC hosted in the past two years. He attended none while Mr. Rauner attended every event. It is clear to us that Bruce Rauner is the clear choice for Governor for Polish-Americans.

    DSC_8419Bob Dold deserves PAL-PAC’s endorsement because his plan is to “work for the establishment of a Polish Visa Waiver Program so that Polish business people and families can more easily visit the United States.” Mr. Dold also takes pride in being “one of the most independent, bi-partisan leaders in the U.S. House of Representative[s].” Mr. Dold shares a common sentiment of many Polish-American business owners: that placing more rules on businesses makes it more difficult for them to grow and succeed.

    59470_115089741883136_6864853_nDan Lipinski has already done a lot for the Polish-American community. He is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Poland Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been vocal in expressing his displeasure with President Obama’s decision not to proceed with the investment of a missile defense system in Poland. Mr. Lipinski was just awarded Legislator of the Year by the International Franchise Association for supporting a pro-business agenda. Congressman Lipinski has introduced and is co-sponsoring a number of bills that would reduce health care costs and make health insurance coverage more affordable.

    DSC_8470A son of Polish immigrants, Rod Drobinski has served as a Lake County assistant state’s attorney for over ten years. He believes that providing a better life for future generations is a top priority. A champion of fiscal responsibility, Mr. Drobinski is aware that Governor Quinn’s 67% tax hike did not help the Illinois’ financial situation due to increased spending in this State. Mr. Drobinski is a proud Polish-American, who values the principles that inspired so many Poles to immigrate to the United States.

    DSC_8157James Pieczonka has the legal experience necessary to become a Cook County judge. Mr. Pieczonka has been practicing as an attorney in Cook County for over 30 years and has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Department of Revenue for over ten years. Mr. Pieczonka prides himself on being, impartial, independent, and productive.

     

     

     

    See If Our Endorsed Candidates Are In Your District

    Rob Dold – 10th District of Illinois

     

    Dan Lipinski – 3rd District of Illinois

     

    Rod Drobinski for State Representative, 62nd District

    62ndHouse

     

     

     

    James Pieczonka for Cook County Judge, 12th Subcircuit

    12thdistrict

  • Congratulations to our Junior Board Members on Becoming Precinct Delegates in Michigan!

    We would like to congratulate two of our Junior Board members on being elected delegates to represent their precincts in Michigan!

    Ania Bieciuk and Victoria Galanty were both elected to represent their townships (Shelby and Sterling Heights respectively) in elections held on August 5th, 2014. They both received enough votes in the election to represent their county parties’ in the upcoming elections. We are extremely proud of both Ania and Victoria and we are very pleased that our Junior Board members are actively involved in the political process.

    We encourage every Polish-American to become involved in their parties primaries or local government. Check your party’s county website to find out how you can become more involved in your local elections today. Many local elections are decided by a couple hundred votes, so each person can make a big difference!

    Together, our voice will be heard!

  • Mikulski Announces Visa Waiver Legislation is Included in the Senate Appropriations Committee Passage of Homeland Security Legislation

    U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) announced today that language to modernize the Visa Waiver Program to include Poland and other key allies has been included  in the 2015 Homeland Security spending bill. The bill was approved by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the fiscal year 2015. We commend the Senator for making sure the language has again been included in the 2015 Homeland Security appropriations.

    The next step for the language to stay included in any appropriations handed out to the Department of Homeland Security is to include similar language in the bill being discussed in the House Committee on Appropriations. That bill, H.R. 4903: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015, has just been introduced into the House.

    If you would like the language for Poland to be included into the Visa Waiver Program to stay included, please contact your congressperson today. The best way to get attention drawn to this issue is to call, you can do so by clicking “call Congress”on this pageYou can also contact your congressperson via the internet by using the Piast Institute’s Initiative website as well. Make sure to tell them that to include language that would allow Poland entry into the Visa Waiver Program within the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act.

    Together, Our Voice Will Be Heard!

     

    The full press release can be found below or on facebook here;

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 26, 2014
    CONTACTS:
    Matt Jorgenson
    Alanna Wellspeak
    202-228-1122

     
    MIKULSKI ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF HOMELAND SECURITY LEGISLATION WHICH INCLUDES VISA WAIVER LEGISLATION

    Provision would provide Visa Waiver path for Poland and other key allies

     

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced Committee passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Homeland Security spending bill. The legislation includes language to modernize the existing Visa Waiver Program (VWP), providing a path for participation from Poland and other strong U.S. Allies excluded under current law. The provision mirrors the Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act, which was introduced earlier this Congress bySenators Mikulski and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), as well as companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) and co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs).

    “Today’s action to improve the Visa Waiver Program will create and sustain American jobs. It strengthens our alliances, enhances our security and allows millions to visit the United States and spend their money here,” said Senator Mikulski, Co-Chair of the Senate Caucus on Poland. “Poland has been a steadfast and true ally. A grandmother from Gdansk shouldn’t need a visa to visit her grandkids in Baltimore. I’ll continue to fight to ensure that we expand this important program in a way that keeps our borders secure while allowing travelers who want nothing other than to see family, conduct business, or tour our great country to do so without going through a long and expensive process.”

    The Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform provision would require applicant countries to maintain an average non-immigrant visa overstay rate not greater than 3 percent while giving the Secretary of Homeland Security flexibility to waive this requirement in cases where a country’s participation does not pose a threat to law enforcement, security, or immigration laws under the condition that the applicant country is cooperating fully with the U.S. in fighting terrorism. It would authorize the Secretary to place a member country on probation if their overstay rate exceeds three percent, sending a strong message to current program members that the United States is serious about ensuring the VWP is a strong component of our security.

    Senator Mikulski has long been an advocate for enhancing the VWP. The Mikulski-Kirk legislation requires the applicant country to have a visa refusal rate not greater than three percent at the time of application into the VWP to ensure a mutual exchange with the United States. It authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to include countries into the program if they meet all United States security standards and have a refusal rate below 10 percent, based on the total number of individual applicants. The legislation also directs the Comptroller General to review the Department of Homeland Security’s methods detecting visa overstays.

    President Obama publically endorsed the expansion of the VWP in an effort to strengthen America’s tourism economy by creating and sustaining jobs. He reaffirmed his support during a trip to Poland [View President Obama’s Letter]. The bill has the support of the US Travel Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the National Retail Federation.

    Currently, citizens of 38 nations around the world are eligible to participate in the VWP, which allows foreign visitors to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.  Outdated requirements exclude Poland, a strong democratic ally, from the VWP despite allowing U.S. tourists to travel visa-free since 1991.

    In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

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  • Kirk, Mikulski, 15 Senators Urge Obama to Strengthen Commitment to Poland

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Danielle Varallo (202) 228-3853 (Kirk)
    Rachel MacKnight (202) 228-1122 (Mikulski)

    Kirk, Mikulski, 15 Senators Urge Obama to Strengthen Commitment to Poland

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), along with 15 other Senators, today sent a letter to President Obama asking him to announce a strengthened U.S. commitment to Poland and the Polish people during his upcoming visit to this important U.S. ally. The Senators asked the President to announce a set of strong pro-Poland measures, including increased U.S. and NATO support for Poland’s armed forces, enhanced missile defense efforts, and a strong U.S. commitment to support all efforts to help Europe diversify its energy supplies away from Russia.

    The cosponsors are Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

    President Obama’s visit is timed for the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first partially free elections, which marked the beginning of the country’s liberation from communism.

    “We know from history what happens when Western leaders abandon Poland,” said Senator Kirk. “This bipartisan effort is a call to action for the President to show Poland and her people that the United States stands firmly with them against the threat of Russian aggression and for a Europe whole, free, and at peace.”
    “I applaud the President for his commitment to strengthening ties with Poland and focusing on security in the region,” said Senator Mikulski. “Poland is a steadfast and true ally and we must take this opportunity to reaffirm the strong alliance between our two countries.”

     

    A copy of the letter is below:

    May 23, 2014

    Dear Mr. President:

    As champions of the U.S.-Poland partnership, we welcome your decision to visit Poland on June 4. This visit is vitally important, as it comes not only on the 25th anniversary of Poland regaining its liberty from communism, but also at the most challenging moment for the region since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

    We therefore urge you to announce during your visit a set of decisive measures to strengthen America’s commitment to Poland and the Polish people. These measures should encompass a renewed and long-term U.S. military commitment to NATO and Poland, as well as a U.S. government commitment to help Europe diversify its energy supplies away from Russia.

    First and foremost, we encourage you to publicly reaffirm to the Polish people America’s ironclad commitment to Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. As part of this commitment, we urge you to propose a plan to increase U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland.

    Second, we urge you to announce to continue to work with the Polish government to enhance U.S. missile defense efforts in Europe and in Poland. This plan should include a range of options, including a firm commitment to place a land-based interceptor site in Poland as well as full U.S. technical cooperation with Polish efforts to acquire their own missile defense.

    Third, we urge you to announce that the U.S. government is fully committed to helping Europe diversify its energy supplies. Poland, along with our allies in the region, is heavily reliant on Russian energy that also makes it vulnerable to Russia’s political pressure, as amply demonstrated when Gazprom cut supplies to Europe in 2008-2009 in its dispute with Ukraine. To help Europe lessen this dangerous dependence, U.S. must support all efforts to bring additional supplies to the market.

    Mr. President, Russian aggression against a sovereign Ukraine represents a grave threat to the region and a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Polish allies to confront this challenge.

    We look forward to your immediate response.

    Sincerely,

    ###

  • IL Governor Pat Quinn Slights Poles During Event Honoring Jan Karski

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    (PAL-PAC) Chicago, IL. – More than 200 people , including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, special guests, and representatives of various Polish and Jewish organizations, met on April 24, 2014 at the Polish Consulate in Chicago to honor the late Jan Karski, World War II hero and Georgetown professor, on the anniversary of his 100th birthday.

    Many of the invited guests, including historians and sociologists, participated in a panel discussion relating the remarkable accomplishments of Jan Karski.

    In his speech , Governor Pat Quinn, Jan Karski’s student at Georgetown, thanked Jewish organizations for participating in the ceremony. It did not go unnoticed, however, to many people including, Mr. Arie Zweig, a supporter of the Jewish and Polish communities, and Chairman of the Polish-American Leadership Political Action Committee (PAL-PAC), that Governor Quinn failed to thank the the Polish Consulate, Deputy Consul Robert Rusiecki, and numerous representatives of Polish organizations who took part in the commemoration.

    “It was disappointing that Governor Quinn did not acknowledge or thank the Polish organizers and supporters of the event. As Chairman of PAL-PAC, I feel that it is very important that the Polish community receive recognition when it is deserved, and our politicians, regardless who they are, need to be aware of our accomplishments and our ability to make an impact on the community and the political process”, Mr. Zweig stated.

    Polish Translation

    Ponad 200 osób , na czele z Gubernatorem Stanu Illinois – Pat Quinn, gośćmi  specjalnymi oraz przedstawicielami Organizacji Polonijnych i Żydowskich, spotkało sie 24 kwietnia , 2014 roku w siedzibie Polskiego Konsulatu w Chicago,  aby uhonorować wybitną postać Jana Karskiego w rocznicę Jego setnych urodzin.

    Do Konsulatu przybyli  nie tylko  przedstawiciele społeczności Żydowskich, a także Ci, ktorzy osobiscie przeżyli Holokaust.

    Wielu zaproszonych gości,  w tym historyków i socjologów, zabrało głos w panelu dyskusyjnym, którego głównym tematem była wybitna osoba Jana Karskiego.

    W swoim przemówieniu, Gubernator Pat Quinn, podziękował Żydowskim organizacjom za przybycie na ta uroczystość. W  tej wypowiedzi  zabrakło jednak bezpośredniego podziękowania dla Konsulatu, który zorganiowal spotkanie w swoich progach,  jak i dla samego   Konsula RP w Chicago- Roberta Rusieckiego. Ponadto nie wspomnial, ani nie podziekowal przybylej  licznie grupie liderow organizacji polonijnych, ani samej Polonii.

    Konkluzją,  jaka nasuwa się na myśl jest fakt, że obecny Gubernator nie liczy się z tak liczną etnicznie grupą w Illinois jaką  jest  Polonia. Obecny na spotkaniu w Konsulacie, jeden z czołowych liderow Polonijnych,  Pan Arie Zweig – Prezes organizacji  Polish –American Leadership Pal-Pac tak skomentował to wydarzenie:

    “Gubernator wykazal kompletny brak szacunku dla Polonii. Wierzy on, że Polonia  chicagowska stanie po jego stronie nawet gdy on sam nie docenia i nie szanuje jej wsparcia. My jako Polacy, powinniśmy  mieć świadomość tego faktu, decydując się na wybór naszego kandydata na Gubernatora w zbliżających się wyborach”

     

  • PAL-PAC Candidates Forum is tonight! Please join us!

    Candidates Forum will take place in Copernicus Center (5216 West Lawrence Ave., Chicago) from 6.00 to 9.00 pm. It is a special meeting of a large group of voters and candidates for major elective positions in the state of Illinois will include over a thousand people, who will be able to read the election program of 22 politicians seeking the nomination of the Democratic and Republican party in the election for the office of governor, his deputy and the state’s attorney. The evening will also accommodate candidates from the Illinois Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Please join us tonight! It is Polonia’s chance to speak up! Lets inform politicians that Polonia matters.

  • List of Confirmed Candidates at PAL-PAC’s Candidates Forum

    The Candidates Forum is fast approaching! On March 14th, PAL-PAC will host this special event where Polonia will meet political candidates running during this primary season. The following list includes the candidates that have confirmed their attendance. It also includes their party affiliation and the position they are running for. This list will be updated with any new changes, so make sure to check back often!

    The public will have a chance to ask questions to any of the candidates. To submit your questions to their candidates, please send an e-mail to info@pal-pac.org.

    1. Anderson Dennis, Democrat Representative of 14th district

    2. Balkema Chris, Republican 11th Congressional District Candidate

    3. Brannigan Sharon , Republican GOP Candidate for U.S. Congress in District 3

    4. Dillard Kirk, Republican Candidate for Governor

    5. Dold Bob, Republican Representative of 10th district

    6. Eidenberg Alexandra, Democrat Representative of 4th district

    7. Goel Manju, Republican Representative of 8th District in Congress

    8. Grogan Bob, Republican State Treasurer

    9. Hardiman Tio, Democrat Lieutenant Governor

    10. Hosta John J,  Democrat Represenative of 14th Congressional District

    11. Hunter Mattie, Democrat 3rd District Senator Candidate

    12. Lipinski Daniel, Democrat 3rd District Representative

    13. Olsen Randall, Democrat 16th District Representative

    14. Rauner Bruce, Republican Candidate for Governor

    15. Rutherford Dan, Republican Candidate for Governor

    16. Schimpf Paul, Republican Attorney General Candidate

    17. Truax Douglas Lee, Republican US Senator Candidate

    18. Wade Nancy, Green Party Candidate for 5th Congressional District

    19. Zavala Jorge Gerardo, Democrat Congressman of the 4th Congressional District

     

    Grab your seat for the Candidates Forum Below!

     

     

     

  • PAL-PAC Polish Trivia Facts: V-Style Ski Jumping

    Quick Fact: Did you know that before the 1990’s, ski jumping was incredibly dangerous because skiers used to jump with both skis together? The current “v-style” technique was developed by a Polish ski jumper, Mirosław Graf, and has led to dramatic improvements in safety and around a 10% increase in distance!

     

    < See more trivia

     

  • February PAL-PAC Polish American History Night

    Oscars
    Eventbrite - PAL-PAC Monthly Polish American History Night.
    Event Details
    SAVE THE DATE!

    Polish – American History Night- a monthly symposium series to educate Polish – Americans on historical events in Poland.

    WHEN: Thursday, February 27, 2014
    6:00pm – 8:00pm

    WHERE: Loyola University, 6364 N. Sheridan Road
    MPR 1100 in BVM Hall

    WHAT: Featured Lecture Topic:
    “Polish cinematography in the 60- year history of Oscars”

    WHO: Symposium led by:
    Zbigniew Banas, film critic

    Free to attend! Spaces are limited, please RSVP.
    Traditional Polish sweets will be served.

    AGENDA:

    6:00pm – 6:20pm
    Arrival and welcome speech

    6:20pm – 6:35pm
    Film screening- Tango (Best Animated Short Film, 1982) filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski

    6:35pm – 7:15pm
    Symposium
    Zbigniew Banas
    Film critic and Loyola University instructor
    (research interests: Polish and European Cinema)

    7:15 – 8:00 pm
    Open Discussion

  • PRACA W KOMISJACH WYBORCZYCH!

    Uwaga! Rada Wyborcza miasta Chicago (Chicago Board of Election), do Prawyborow 18 marca br. poszukuje dwujezycznych osob do pracy w Komisjach Wyborczych, w charakterze sedziego elekcyjnego.

    Sędzią elekcyjnym może zostać osoba, która:

    – jest obywatelem Stanów Zjednoczonych,

    – jest zarejestrowana do głosowania w powiecie Cook,

    – potrafi czytać i pisać w języku angielskim

    – posiada podstawowe umiejętności matematyczne

    – nie jest spokrewniona z żadnym z kandydatów.

    Zainteresowanych praca prosimy o zgloszenie sie po aplikacje do
    Moniki Galuszki (Mysliwiec)

    Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
    69 W. Washington St Ste 600
    Chicago IL 60602
    Phone: 312-269-5702
    Fax: 312-269-0664
    Email: polishvote@chicagoelections.net
    Web: www.chicagoelections.com