The AHEPAN Summer 2018 - 23

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY

Greek Americans
Bring Policy
Priorities to
Capitol Hill
AHEPA and the Daughters of Penelope
brought their public policy priorities to
the attention of congressional legislators and their staffs during their annual
Capitol Hill Day, May 16, 2018. The
AHEPA Family's Capitol Hill Day has
become an annual event since 2006.
"Our mission guides our public policy priorities," Supreme President Carl
R. Hollister said. "As such, we have a
diverse set of legislative interests, both
foreign and domestic, that reflect our
programs and initiatives that serve our
mission and community."
He added, "We sincerely thank all
our volunteer members who unselfishly AHEPA family advocates with U.S. Reps. Maloney and Sarbanes on Capitol Hill.
took the time out of their busy schedules to fulfill their commitment to civic responsibility. We had representation stretching
from the Southwest and Midwest, and of course, New England and mid-Atlantic regions. The diverse geographic composition of
our grassroots is our strength, and it is crucial that we bring it to Capitol Hill to convey a strong message in support of our policy
priorities."
According to Hollister, AHEPA family members who participated at the organization's annual Capitol Hill Day discussed issues
that included: Greece's importance to United States defense and security interests in Europe and the importance of strong U.S. -
Greece relations; religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, justice for Cyprus and Cyprus's sovereign right to explore for
energy reserves, and ensuring cost-effective, job creating, and lifesaving domestic programs are preserved and maintained in the
federal budget. Domestic programs of interest to the AHEPA family include: affordable housing for the elderly, medical research
at NIH, and domestic violence. In addition, the participants' objective was to help to grow the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic
Issues as well as other congressional caucuses of interest.
"Our aim is to grow the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, helping it to return to the record-setting number we achieved
in previous congresses," Hollister said. "We are encouraged by the positive responses we received by members of Congress, and
their staffs, who are not members of the Caucus, to join it."
The day's events included a morning reception where the AHEPA family received remarks from U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL),
co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus and Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance; and the U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL). U.S. Rep. Carolyn
Maloney (D-NY), co-founder and co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus, addressed the AHEPA family members during a group photo she
helped to arrange on the U.S. Capitol steps. U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) also addressed the members who were gathered at
the Capitol steps.
"We appreciate the strong show of support from the champions of Greek American issues and thank them for their participation, which helped to make the day a success," Hollister said. "We pledge to garner support for their legislative initiatives and ask
for the community's help. We look forward to working with our champions to achieve all our shared policy goals and objectives
before the 115th Congress comes to a conclusion this year. There is not much time left."

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Summer 2018 ยท THE AHEPAN

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