Polish American Congress
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Office and Meeting Place
Polish American Cultural Center
308 Walnut Street • Philadelphia, PA 19106 • (215) 739-3408

History

The Polish American Congress was created in response to the concern of Americans of Polish descent for their ancestral homeland, Poland, following its brutal victimization during World War II. The Polish American Congress was founded in May of 1944 as a national movement to unite the diverse organizations of the Polish American community under an umbrella structure. Its goal was to forge a strong, unified and influential organization that would address the concerns of Americans of Polish ancestry in all areas of common interest, both domestic and international. The Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District, was organized in February, 1945, as a regional division of the national organization.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Polish American Congress is to encourage unity, mutual respect, and cooperation within the Polish American community and among its various membership constituencies, on both the national and district levels. The Congress advocates and presents its interests and concerns to the American public and the global community with regard to political and social issues which directly impact upon the Polish American community. The Congress serves as a framework to enable the Polish American community to organize patriotic, historical, educational and civic events that enhance positive public awareness of Polish causes, traditions, and the contributions of persons of Polish descent.

Goals and Objectives

The Polish American Congress works with its member organizations to achieve the following:

1. To unify people of Polish ancestry in the United States.

2. To encourage the growth of Polish American fraternal, educational, cultural, social, youth, parish, civic, veteran and professional associations.

3. To encourage exposure to Polish history and culture in schools, parishes and cultural institutions.

4. To acquaint people of Polish ancestry with their rights, privileges and duties as American citizens.

5. To maintain active liaison with local, state and federal government officials regarding the needs and concerns of Americans of Polish ancestry.

6. To protect the good name of Americans of Polish ancestry in political, national, social, and economic matters.

7. To react at a time of crisis when the needs and concerns of Polonia must be represented.

8. To inform the American public about the Polish American community and Poland's role in history.

9. To inform Americans of Polish ancestry of actions taken by the Polish American Congress to assist people of Polish ancestry.

10. To promote the importance of radio, TV and print media which inform and unite Polish Americans.

11. To publicize the work of the member organizations of the Polish American Congress and urge others to support their activities.

Point of Contact

The PAC is a central point of contact for information about area Polish American organizations and events. It also serves as a principal point of contact during crisis situations and when immediate action is necessary to address the needs and concerns of Polonia. Contact Us.

Membership

The Congress consists of a wide variety of organizations as well as individual members. The Congress does not compete with the missions of its individual member organizations, but encourages people to enroll and actively support its membership so that the goals of the community at large will be served with the involvement of all interested people. Congress membership includes:

1. Any organization consisting substantially of persons of Polish origin, or any person of Polish ancestry, or anyone related by blood or marriage to a person of Polish ancestry without regard to political or religious convictions, with the exception of such organizations or persons whose activities are directed against the principles of American democracy or against the interest of the Polish people, may become a member of the Polish American Congress.

2. The following are examples of the kinds of organizations which may become members of the Congress: fraternal, cultural, veteran, religious, youth, dance, sports, civic, social, educational, business & professional, political, musical and other associations promoting Polish heritage for the benefit of the community at large.

3. Organizations or individuals who are subversive and threatening to the American system of government and whose activities are against the interests of the Polish and Polish American people or who are politically or ideologically affiliated with an anti-government association cannot be members of the Congress or District nor delegates to the national convention, nor representatives to the District or its Chapters.

4. All National or District members of the Congress must be either citizens or residents of the United States.

Communications

The PAC assists its member organizations by promoting their activities in its publication and through its other media and general information contacts. The PAC also encourages people to support the activities of its member organizations.


Representative Governance


Election of Officers

On both the national and district levels, officers are elected by delegates who represent the member organizations as well as by individual members. District officers serve one-year terms and national officers serve two-year terms. There are no term limits for either national or district officials.

The officers of the Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District are nominated in December and elected during the annual meeting in January.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is the principal legislative assembly of the Congress. The meeting is held to receive reports from officers, regional representatives and various committees and to discuss pertinent and critical issues. The meeting serves as a forum to elect officers, provide guidance and allow discussions on various issues which will affect the community at large during the ensuing year.

General Meetings

General meetings are held throughout the year to provide updates to the community on the efforts of the PAC, Eastern Pennsylvania District. All members in good standing receive meeting notices announcing general and update meetings

Appointed Representatives and Committees

Each year the President with the approval of the Executive Committee appoints individuals to serve on the standing committees. Individuals are appointed to represent or assist elected PAC officers in counties of the Eastern Pennsylvania District. All committee appointees and regional representatives give reports on their efforts when requested. The President is an ex-officio member of every committee under the auspices of the PAC Eastern Pennsylvania District.


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