Washington, DC.- The United Statesʼ Visa Waiver Program and charter schools were two main topics of discussion when Supreme President Ike Gulas met with new U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-3-NV) on Capitol Hill.
“We formally welcomed Congresswoman Titus to Washington on behalf of AHEPA,” said Gulas. “We had a very productive and enjoyable meeting with the congresswoman, providing her with an overview of our legislative agenda for the new congress. Of course, we thanked her for joining the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.”
Gulas discussed the challenges facing the United Statesʼ Visa Waiver Program and explored the charter school growth because of the congresswomanʼs interest in education issues.
Moreover, the Supreme President met with representatives from Alabama, including U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-7-AL), who is pondering a run for governor; and Bobby Bright (D-2-AL), a freshman member of Congress.
On Tuesday, Ike Gulas, attended President Barack Obama’s first Joint Session of Congress.
“It’s an honor to represent AHEPA at such a momentous occasion,” said Gulas. “It was a historic first for our organization. This is truly a tribute to the long-standing respect exhibited toward AHEPA in Washington.”
One theme of President Obama’s speech that resonated with AHEPA’s mission is education.
“Last night, the president stated, and rightfully so, that it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in our nation’s educational system,” said Gulas. “He called on every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. Since its inception, AHEPA has been a vehicle through which the door to higher education has been opened to the community through AHEPA scholarships, grants, and programs such as Journey to Greece.”
Gulas added, “To help us continue to fulfill this mission, and achieve the president’s noble goal to have America possess the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, please remember AHEPA’s Educational Foundation when you are planning your charitable giving or estate planning.”
In addition, AHEPA supports Greek-language immersion charter schools throughout the nation, including Odyssey in Wilmington, Delaware. Last night, President Obama pledged to expand support our nation’s commitment to charter schools.
NJ CONGRESSMAN JOINS AHEPA
U.S. Representative Scott Garrett (R-5-NJ) joined he American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading association for the nation’s three million American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, yesterday, announced Supreme President Ike Gulas. Rep. Garrett joined Ramapo Chapter 453, Wyckoff, N.J., which is New Jersey’s largest chapter with 135 members.
“We welcome with great enthusiasm Congressman Garrett’s membership in AHEPA,” said Gulas. “He is a dedicated public servant who has demonstrated a keen interest to listen his constituents, including the American Hellenic community. We’re proud to count him as a member and a Philhellene.
He added, “Also, I commend Ramapo Chapter for its outreach to the congressman that has led to a fluid dialogue on all issues. This example must be replicated throughout the community.”
Rep. Garrett spent more than thirty minutes with Supreme Governor Louis Arvanitis, District 5 Lieutenant Governor Phil Vogis, and District No. 5 Treasurer Savas Tsivicos, and the chapter’s membership to discuss issues of importance to AHEPA. These issues included projects such as the formation of charter schools and the building of senior citizens housing projects. Moreover, Tsivicos, who is a member of AHEPA’s Cyprus & Hellenic Affairs Committee, led the policy discussion issues regarding Greece and Cyprus. Chapter 453 President Jim Giokas , and Chapter 453 Treasurer George Mellides, officiated the induction.
In 2008, Rep. Garrett was given an upper tier, 87% rating on Greek-American issues in AHEPA’s Congressional Scorecard. Moreover, he is a member of the Hellenic Caucus. A link to the score card can be found on AHEPA’s Public Policy page, www.ahepa.org/policy.
In January, Rep. Garrett was sworn in to his fourth term in the U. S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District. He was first elected to Congress in 2002. Garrett serves on the House Financial Services and Budget Committees. He is a member of the Financial Services Subcommittees on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises; Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit; and Housing and Community Opportunity. For more information on the Congressman visit http://garrett.house.gov.
AHEPA Chapter 453 serves the communities of north-western Bergen County. In 2007, the chapter was voted the Most Outstanding Chapter in AHEPA’s Fifth District. That year the chapter started an adult Greek language school that is now entering its third year. For more information about the Ramapo Chapter, visit their web site at www.ahepa453.org.