BALTIC AMERICAN FREEDOM LEAGUE
CALL TO ACTION
Dear Friends and Members of BAFL,
You have always responded to our calls to defend the freedom and sovereignty of the Baltic nations. You have made enormous contributions to our effort to assure United States support for the Baltic nations. I hope you will also follow through this time as well.
Please contact your Representative to urge him or her to join the
House of Representatives Baltic Caucus!
I can think of no better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Baltic nations than to grow the Baltic Caucus to 100 members.
Make no mistake: Russia will continue to do all it can to weaken the freedom, sovereignty and independence of the Baltic countries. Friends and supporters in the U.S. Congress are critical.
The Purpose of Congressional Caucuses
Congressional Caucuses are formed to provide a forum for issues and legislative agendas. The Baltic Caucus is an important and practical channel through which the Baltic American community can inform the members of Congress of their concerns, request legislation and bring other matters relating to the Baltic nations to the attention of lawmakers. The advantage of a Caucus is that instead of going to each individual Representative in Congress, we can work with a group of Representatives who are interested supporters of the Baltic nations.
The more members a cause or organization has, the stronger their voice in Congress. Since its establishment the Baltic Caucus has introduced some twenty bills and resolutions directly affecting the Baltic nations and has actively endorsed, supported or opposed scores of Baltic related legislation introduced by other members of Congress.
Caucuses provide interest groups, such BAFL and the Baltic American community, a way to get their message out to bipartisan congressional members interested and committed to their issues.
The purpose of the Baltic Caucus was founded on one single irrefutable principle: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have a fundamental right be free, independent and sovereign.
Options and Opportunities Provided to the Baltic Community by the House Baltic Caucus:
- To work with members of Congress to propose and support or oppose issues and legislation of interest to the Baltic American community;
- To encourage and strengthen relations and cooperation of the Baltic nations with the United States in matters of trade, defense, cyberwar, terrorism and extremism;
- To inform members of the House of the threats and abusive actions directed to the Baltic nations by the Russian Federation;
- To provide an arena for cultural exchanges between the United States and the Baltic nations;
- To create opportunities for political dialogue among the legislators of the United States and the Baltic countries and to encourage exchange visits;
- To encourage business-friendly and pro-market policies, legislation and opportunities between the United States and the Baltic nations;
- To provide members of the House with greater grass roots access to the Baltic American community and the people of the Baltic nations.
Talking Points When in Inviting Congressperson to Join Baltic Caucus
The three Baltic nations are loyal, staunch and trustworthy allies of the United States. They are committed to contributing to the war on terrorism beyond NATO borders. Baltic troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan serving shoulder to shoulder with American troops. Together the three Baltic countries have participated in 26 NATO and OSCE military missions in eleven countries.
The Baltic nations have showed the world that the love of freedom is stronger than the will of tyrannical imperialism. Countries can emerge from deadly tyranny and become thriving democracies.
The Baltic nations are bound to the United States by common values. Since regaining their independence, they have made huge progress in implementing strong, effective and stable democratic governments, the rule of law, respect for human and civil rights, free market economies and strong, transparent, civilian controlled militaries.
The Baltic nations have successfully integrated in the international community of democratic nations and are active members of NATO, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations.
They have complied with NATO recommendation that member nations spend two percent of their GDP on national defense.
The credibility and commitment of NATO members to Article 5 is tied to United States and NATO member response to Russian aggression against the Baltic nations. If the American and NATO response is not nimble and strong, Article 5 will lose its credibility and NATO will be out of business as military alliance.
A large membership in the Caucus will resonate a clear message to President Putin that the Baltic people have friends in the Congress. It will also strengthen the credibility of the deterrence policy by NATO and the U.S.
The Baltic nations are experiencing threatening times. In Russia democratic freedoms are in rout, the economy is in trouble, corruption is widespread, ultra-nationalism is rampant and saber rattling by President Putin grows louder with each day. By joining the Baltic Caucus, the House sends a clear and strong message to President Putin that the United States stands with the Baltic nations.
To Join the Baltic Caucus
We have posted instructions and protocol for contacting congresspersons, as well as sample letters on our web site WWW.BAFL.COM. You can also find the current list of members of the Caucus there. I recommend that in your contact with a congressional member, the first thing you should state is that you are a constituent in the Congressional district. Chairpersons of organizations should state that they represent members of their organization.
You should also inform the Congressperson about who to contact if they want to join. The Caucus has two Co-Chairpersons. The Republican Co-Chair is John Shimkus (IL). His staff contact is Mr. Flavio CardonFlavio.firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (202) 225-5271, Fax: (202) 225-5880. The Democrat Co-Chair is Adam Schiff (CA). The Baltic Caucus staff person is Ms. Karen McBride Karen.email@example.com, Tel: (202) 225-4271, Fax: ( 202) 225-5228.
IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE BALTIC CAUCUS IS IMPORTANT FOR BALTIC
LEGISLATION AND ISSUES, THEN YOU SHOULD GET YOUR CONGRESSPERSON
TO JOIN THE BALTIC CAUCUS.
Thank you. I hope you will join our campaign to increase the number of friends and supporters in the House of Representatives.
Valdis V, Pavlovskis
Executive Vice President
February 22, 2018