The President's Letter

[Tom Payne pix here]

Tom Payne

March 15, 2019

Time in Poland Now

.... Greetings to my dear fellow Polonians!

I send greetings and salutations to fellow ACPC members. ACPC is springing forward this year, commencing with our Board Meeting in McLean, VA this March, with special commemoration activities surrounding 400th Anniversary of the Jamestown Work Stoppage (more to follow), Convention in Poland (I can't wait!), and Fall Board Meeting in Syracuse to commemorate 100th Anniversary of Polish Heritage of Syracuse.

Unlike today's uncontrollable wave of immigration into the United States, the first Poles to arrive in America in 1609 came in response to a request from the Jamestown Colony due to the skills that these craftsmen possessed. This was essential to establishing the Colony as an economic producer of glassware, pitch, and tar, not to mention the Poles' first act of digging a well to provide potable water for the residents. Despite their contributions, these Poles soon realized that they were not on equal footing with the citizenry; they did not have the right to vote on matters affecting the welfare of the colony.

Therefore, they took an action that had never been done in America, but laid the groundwork for future democratic movements throughout American history - they engaged in an act of Civil Disobedience by refusing to continue their valuable industry until they were granted the right to vote. In 1619, the Assembly granted these non-Englishmen the right to vote.

This can be hailed as a victory for representative democracy and the precedent for civil actions to gain basic rights for workers. Some of our ACPC members have been working very hard producing research to establish and validate these historical facts, because historians and educators demand supporting justification to amplify such deeds. Henrietta Nowakowski has been a champion for years for this cause and she has produced a quality presentation on this development that can be shared with your club members, educators, and other interested parties. Cecilia Glembocki likewise has developed a wide array of media material in various forms such as bookmarks, posters, electronic media, etc that has already been effectively used with educators and legal scholars to enlighten on the contributions of the early Polish settlers. She can share with your club or consult with you if you would like to similarly carry the torch in your local area. This is all in the name of making you proud of your Polish heritage. Please join us in communicating this great anniversary; none of us will be around for the next centennial.

It is always an honor to serve you as ACPC President, thank you for your support and encouragement.
Tom Payne
ACPC President

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