AHEPA Submits Written Testimony to House Subcommittee to Restore VOA Greek Service Funding

Commends Sarbanes’ Effort in the House

WASHINGTON, DC (April 10, 2007)—The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading association for the nation’s 1.3 million American citizens of Greek ancestry, and Philhellenes, submitted written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, State, and Related Programs, requesting the federal government to restore $480,000 in funding for the Voice of America Greek Service for Fiscal Year 2008. The testimony has been entered into the Public Record.

“The Greek Service is extremely crucial to the Greek-American community and to the United States’ interests in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said National President Gus. J. James, II. “It plays a significant role in communicating an accurate message abroad to a part of the globe that is situated on the doorsteps of the Middle East and the Balkans.”

Separately, AHEPA sent letters presenting its position to Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over VOA, and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who is the ranking member on the Subcommittee.

“The elimination of the Greek Service just doesn’t make sense,” added James, who said the TV broadcast portion receives a 4.5% viewer rating in Greece, and that combined with radio and the Internet, the Service is viewed or heard by one million persons. Ratings for Cyprus are unable to be surveyed due to improper funding.

Moreover, AHEPA commends the effort by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), who circulated a letter about the VOA funding issue to colleagues in the House of Representatives.

“We are thankful to Congressman Sarbanes for initiating the effort, and we applaud those members of Congress who co-signed the letter,” said James. “They are to be commended by our community.”

In addition to Sarbanes, Hellenic Caucus Chairpersons Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), along with Reps. Zack Space (D-OH), James P. McGovern (D-MA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) co-signed the letter.

To view AHEPA’s testimony, and a copy of the House letter, please visit www.ahepa.org.

(Posting date 29 April 2007

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization. Its scope is international with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, and Cyprus, and "sister" chapters in Australia and New Zealand under the auspices of AHEPA Australasia. AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922 in response to the evils of bigotry and racism that emerged in early 20th century American society. It also helped Greek immigrants assimilate into society. Today, AHEPA promotes the ideals of ancient Greece, which includes philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism. The AHEPA family consists of four organizations: AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena. For more information about the organization or how to join, contact AHEPA Headquarters (202-232-6300) or visit the organization's newly redesigned website at http://www.ahepa.org.

HCS maintains an extensive archives of AHEPA articles and press releases which readers are invited to browse under the AHEPA Family Releases section of the site archives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveahepa.html.

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