AHEPA continually seeks to grow its Congressional Grassroots Network.
Please take a moment to join the Grass Roots Network by completing our contact form. IT’S FREE! We will keep you updated on ways you can help AHEPA meet its commitment to civic responsibility. You will be kept abreast of AHEPA-sponsored policy forums, seminars, and conferences. In addition, through AHEPA Action Alerts, you can lend your voice by outreaching to Congress on issues of importance to the Greek-American community. After all, it is YOU who legislators want to hear from the most. Thank you.
AHEPA Meets with Homeland Security;
Applauds Administration's Designation of Greece as a Visa Waiver Program Nation
WASHINGTON - The leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), applauds today's news that Greece has been designated a member of the United States' Visa Waiver Program, announced National President Nicholas A. Karacostas following his meeting today with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
"This is exciting and welcomed news," Karacostas said. "Greece has worked extremely hard to meet, and in some cases exceed, the United States' rigid visa waiver program criteria. We also thank the efforts of officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and our champions on Capitol Hill, especially the Hellenic Caucus, for working ceaselessly to see this process through to its proper completion."
He continued, "Greece's entry is a source of pride for the American Hellenic community. Now our relatives can visit us at a moment's notice if needed, commerce will flourish, and tourism to the United States will increase. Today, the long-standing strategic partnership between the United States and Greece becomes even stronger."
Greece's entry into the Visa Waiver Program is a significant initiative championed by AHEPA because of the organization's historical role as a bridge between the United States and Greece for 88 years. Since January 2006, AHEPA worked with Congress to introduce legislation that designates Greece as a visa waiver nation, and hosted a public policy forum with leading administration, congressional, and policy experts to create awareness of the subject. Moreover, AHEPA worked with the Departments of State and Homeland Security to present the position of the American Hellenic community on the issue.
Securing proper recognition for the contributions to America of Constantino Brumidi, “Artist of the Capitol”
Overview In the 110th Congress, the AHEPA family worked in cooperation with Italian American organizations to award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal for Constantino Brumidi, the “Artist of the Capitol.” Brumidi was a great American citizen of Greek and Italian descent. His frescoes and murals can be found throughout the U.S. Capitol. Brumidi’s creations include his masterpiece, the allegorical fresco The Apotheosis of Washington, in the canopy of the Rotunda. He also painted the extensive frescoes in the Brumidi Corridors, which many believe to be the first true frescoes to be painted in this country. Brumidi's last years were spent painting the historic scenes in the Rotunda frieze. The consummate American, Brumidi is reported to have remarked: "My one ambition and my daily prayer is that I may live long enough to make beautiful the Capitol of the one country on earth in which there is liberty." Status We anticipate a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda for Constantino Brumidi in 2010. Updated – On July 11, 2012 Executive Director Basil Mossaidis and DOP Executive Director Elena Saviolakis were invited to attend the Gold Medal Ceremony held in the US Capital. A bronze replica was awarded to the AHEPA for the participation and dedication to get the Gold Medal awarded. AHEPA was pushing for this recognition since 2004.
Federal Funding Levels
AHEPA’s mission is rooted in its community service programs that consist of providing affordable housing to low-income senior citizens, creating awareness and finding cures to deadly diseases, and strengthening relations between the United States and Greece. For example, AHEPA’s Housing Program is one of the largest in the nation for senior citizens with 85 complexes in operation and more in development. The AHEPA family has worked ceaselessly to raise awareness and support a search for a cure for Thalassemia (Cooley’s Anemia), which is a debilitating disease affecting individuals of eastern Mediterranean descent.
As a result, AHEPA seeks to ensure proper federal funding levels for the following federal programs:
When appropriate, AHEPA has submitted written testimony to justify proper federal funding of these programs.
In February, President Barack Obama will release his federal budget for FY2011. Please revisit this page to receive updates as the federal budget process proceeds.