EANC’s Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey addressing the Los Angeles community and sharing Estonians in America history book.
Estonian American National Council’s Washington, DC Director Karin Shuey had the honor of addressing the Los Angeles Estonian community for their Eesti Vabariik 100 celebration on February 24th.
Their festive program at the Los Angeles Estonian House included greetings from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and consul generals and honorary consuls resident in Los Angeles, along with songs and poems performed by the local mixed chorus and Sunday school students. It also featured the unveiling of a plaque from the Estonian government that recognized the community for its successful execution of the XXXIII West Coast Estonian Days last summer as one of the first official EV100 events in the U.S.
After congratulating the community and reviewing some history of Estonians in Southern California, Ms.
Shuey’s remarks focused on EANC’s mission, the issues tracked in Washington, and how the local community could help with Baltic advocacy. She made an important pitch for supporting Vaba Eesti
Sõna, the most enduring source of news for Estonian Americans that is facing financial difficulty. She encouraged all our readers to subscribe to either the online or print version.
Another important priority covered by Ms. Shuey’s remarks was elections to the EANC council. Estonian Americans throughout the U.S. are invited to run for one of fifty seats in the council membership. EANC’s mission includes supporting Estonian American organizations that preserve and promote Estonian heritage, language and culture; and working to raise awareness of, and support for, Estonia among all Americans, and in Congress and the Administration. Newer goals include bringing all the communities and demographics that we represent together through a new website and social media, and appealing to a broader audience with more information on topics Estonian Americans are interested in. For anyone eager to participate in EANC’s evolving mission, the deadline to submit applications is March 31st. More information is available at www.estosite.org.
Plaque from the Estonian government to the LA Estonian Society for successfully hosting the XXXIII West Coast Estonian Days as an EV 100 event.
The issues emphasized on EANC’s Washington radar include ending Russia’s occupation of Ukraine and Crimea; continued U.S. support for NATO’s presence in the Baltics and Poland; upholding democratic values and institutions in Europe; implementing the sanctions that the Administration has signed into law that punish Russia for attacking democracy in Europe and the U.S.; and enacting programs that combat Russia’s disinformation campaigns here and in Europe. All of these issues have active legislation in the works and are items that EANC brings up when visiting members of Congress and their staff, often in conjunction with our Joint Baltic American National Committee and Central and East European Coalition colleagues.
Ms. Shuey also highlighted several local Representatives who are members of the House Baltic Caucus and others whose membership would be welcomed. Just based on Members of Congress who have announced their retirements so far, the House Baltic Caucus stands to lose 10% of its membership at the end of this session. That number could go up depending on the results of the midterm elections in November. The HBC membership list is at housebalticcaucus.webs.com/memberswebs.com/members. Ms. Shuey encouraged the audience to check for their Representative’s name, and if not listed, to make a call to ask that they join.
Ms. Shuey’s trip to California was the latest evidence of EANC’s efforts to give more communities first-hand information about EANC’s activities. Over the last two years, EANC has held its annual meeting and public seminars and dinners in San Francisco and St. Petersburg, Florida. Ms. Shuey traveled to Seattle for that community’s Independence Day program last year, and her next trip will be to Cleveland in June for their Victory Day and Midsummer commemoration. She will be joined by EANC President Marju Rink-Abel in early June at Stanford University for a panel discussion at the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Conference on the 100th Anniversary of Baltic Independence.
EANC values its relationships with Estonian communities throughout the U.S. and welcomes opportunities to bring its message to them. If anyone would like a representative to come to an event in their city to share more information and engage with community members on a more personal level, please see the EANC website at www.estosite.orgfor contact information.
Washington, DC Director
Estonian American National Council