Action Ukraine Coalition

The Action Ukraine Coalition was founded on April 15, 1999 by three US Ukrainian émigré organizations, the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, the Ukrainian Federation of America and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.1

"Three organizations form Action Ukraine Coalition by R.L. Chomiak

WASHINGTON - Three Ukrainian American organizations representing diverse segments of the Ukrainian American community have joined forces to form the Action Ukraine Coalition. The immediate catalyst for the formation of this coalition was the annual debate over the certification of U.S. foreign aid for Ukraine, as well as the need to develop an ongoing, positive, pro-active working relationship with members of the Ukrainian Caucus in the U.S. Congress.

The coalition was formed at a meeting of its three charter members on April 15 in Washington: the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, the Ukrainian Federation of America and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.

The overall goals of the coalition are to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine, to develop a sustained and more effective channel of communication between the U.S. Congress and the Ukrainian American community in order for Congress to better understand the community's concerns about Ukraine, to appreciate the critical issues facing the young Ukrainian state and to realize the urgency of alleviating the most pressing problems threatening Ukraine. Action Ukraine is committed to a continuing and positive presence on Capitol Hill.

As their first act, the leaders of the three constituent organizations in the Action Ukraine Coalition, together with Ukraine's Ambassador Anton Buteiko and other members of Ukraine's diplomatic crops in Washington, met on April 14 with three members of Congress from the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus: Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and Bob Schaffer (R-Colo.), and former Congressman Charles F. Dougherty of Pennsylvania.

All agreed to coordinate their efforts on the following task: to pursue an active rather than reactive role in Congress; to work toward placing cooperative relations between the U.S. Congress and Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada on an institutional basis and to ask the House leadership to formally initiate this process; and to develop friendly relationships between individual members of both legislatures on a one-to-one basis.

The Action Ukraine Coalition said it will make every effort to work with the entire Ukrainian American community in pursuit of these goals and will coordinate its action program with its constituent members and with the Embassy of Ukraine as well. Other interested Ukrainian American organizations are invited to join the coalition; for further information, call (202) 737-6090. "2