Mr. Kuzma Goes to Washington

May 3, 2023

On April 24-26, PFA National President Timothy Kuzma traveled to Washington, D.C., for several important events related to Poland, Eastern Europe and fraternals.

Pictured above: Drew Goesl, President Kuzma & Kevin Gannon, Legislative Director for Congressman Andrew Garbarino

Remembering the Katyn Massacre Conference

At the invitation of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America, President Kuzma attended the Remembering the Katyn Massacre Conference on April 25 to commemorate the Katyn Massacre during World War II and the Smolensk Disaster in 2010. Among the dignitaries delivering remarks was Antoni Macieriewicz, Senior Marshal and Member of the Parliament (Sejm) of Poland.

Antoni Macieriewicz, Senior Marshal and Member of the Parliament (Sejm) of Poland

The conference was held at the Victims of Communism Museum. It was sponsored by the Victims of Communism Foundation and Smolensk Disaster Commemoration Committee.

Opening remarks were presented by Tadeusz Antoniak, Commander of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America; Ambassador Aldona Wos, Trustee of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and President of the Institute of World Politics; and Ken Pope, CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Presentations were also delivered by Maris Selga, Ambassador of Latvia; Audra Plepyte, Ambassador of Lithuania; Adam Krzywosadzki, Deputy Chief of Mission of Polish Embassy in the United States; and Denis Baranov, Representative of the Belarusian Community in Washington, D.C.

Speakers and dignitaries at the Conference

“We must never forget the horrible Katyn Massacre committed by the Soviet Union against the Polish Nation. Especially today as we witness the atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Ukraine,” said President Kuzma.

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Meetings on Capitol Hill

Following the Katyn Conference, President Kuzma met with Drew Goesl, the lobbyist for the American Fraternal Alliance. Mr. Gosel organized three meetings for President Kuzma to meet with staff of two Congressmen and one Senator.

The purpose of the meeting was to seek support for a Resolution presented by the AFA that seeks support of the fraternal movement by the U.S. Congress. At the moment, there are 52 sponsors in the House and 23 in the Senate. (You can read the full text of the Resolution by clicking here and here.)

“Making sure our Representatives and Senators understand and appreciate the value of fraternal benefit societies to the fabric of the country. I was glad to make the case to key staff of two representatives and one senator that supporting organizations like Polish Falcons, and the work we do for our members and communities, is vitally important to a healthy society.”

President Kuzma and Mr. Goesl met with Mason Pesek, Legislative Counsel for Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania; Joseph Arbie, Legislative Assistant for Congressman Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania; and Kevin Gannon, Legislative Director for Congressman Andrew Garbarino.

Mr. Goesl said of the meetings, “In just a few hours we had three successful meetings. We got tremendous, positive feedback and I think we will eventually be able to claim three co-sponsorships from our meetings.”

President Kuzma & Drew Goesl in front of the Capitol Building
Drew Goesl, President Kuzma & Mason Pesek, Legislative Counsel for Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania

Back to the Hill for more meetings

The following day, President Kuzma and other representatives of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) met with staff of numerous House and Senate staff to demonstrate support of Ukraine and the entire region. President Kuzma represented the Polish American Congress (PAC) as he serves as National Secretary and Vice President of American Affairs for the Congress. (Polish Falcons is a member of the PAC.)

CEEC Advocacy Day
CEEC Advocacy Day
CEEC Advocacy Day

The CEEC is an advocacy group for organizations representing all nations in the region. The unfortunate brutal war in Ukraine has galvanized CEEC in its efforts to support Ukraine. The CEEC’s position on the situation is:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its continuing wars of aggression have finally awakened the world into recognizing and responding to Russia’s imperialism. Many of the 20 million Americans whose heritage lies in the Central and East European (CEE) region are descended from refugees of Russian imperialism and serve as a warning for us to not be naive. Unless Russian imperialism is defeated, we risk the freedom, democracy, and sovereignty of the Free World. Therefore, every effort must be taken to combat hybrid warfare, military aggression, disinformation, cyber-attacks, corruption, energy weaponization, nuclear threats, and crimes against humanity. CEEC believes that a decisive Ukrainian victory matters for the national security for the United States and its NATO allies. (The full statement can be found here.)

President Kuzma met with Curtis Newman, Legislative Correspondent for Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania; Gianluca Nigro, Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania; and Sarah Jacobs, Lesislative Assistant for Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.

“The meetings were a success in that the CEEC demonstrated the importance of continued U.S. support of Ukraine and the region,” said President Kuzma. “In my comments to the staffers, I emphasized the strategic role Poland has played since the invasion began in February 2022.”

One of the goals of the CEEC is the adoption of a resolution by Congress that calls support of total victory by Ukraine. This means the return of all territory claimed by Russia, including Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. (The resolution can be found here.)

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Polish Falcons of America

Polish Falcons of America (PFA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven, community life insurer with 20,000 Members nationwide.

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