Advocacy in D.C. for Macedonians is Needed Now Than Ever Before

Abraham Lincoln once said, “the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” This most sincere description of what democracy looks like reigns supreme not just here in the United States, but in any nation state around the world where the ship steers according to the will of the people.

The will of the people is why we Macedonians here in the United States, and abroad, are ignited to fight like never before for our fellow Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia. Like UMD says, United, We Can. In 2019, let’s also say United, We Will!

I am a member of UMD and live in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I visited Washington D.C. on January 3, 2019 to visit and meet with members of the US Congress and staff. Leadership, staff and members of the United Macedonian Diaspora accompanied me. This particular date was the day of the swearing in ceremonies for the newly elected and re-elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. 

During my visit, I also stopped by the UMD Office. I was amazed at how close the UMD Headquarters is to the White House. This reminded me of how vital it is for Macedonians to have a seat at the table in our nation’s capital and I applaud UMD for how many connections they have worked to create in Washington D.C. over the years.

When we got to Capitol Hill that day, the halls were full of excitement. There were people from all different walks of life who came to meet these public officials and their staff. Being on Capitol Hill is always humbling. It serves as a reminder to be proud to be a U.S. Citizen and proud of what our country stands for. It’s also a terrific opportunity to make a good impression of the Macedonian Community. Our UMD crew visited several offices and met even more people from both sides of the aisle. My hope is that in two years we will have a large crowd attend this special event because it truly is a wonderful experience. 

Whether it’s on a day like January 3rd, or a meeting at the home office, meeting with these public pfficials and their staff is important because they need to hear from us and put a face with a name of the Macedonian Community. It really does make a difference.

Many people believe there is not much that can be done from here in the U.S. If you think that the battleground of the cultural war for Macedonia’s Sovereignty, Self Determination and Security is fought only in Macedonia you are wrong. It’s fought here in the United States of America in more ways than one. I have a perfect example of an event that happened on the day I was on Capitol Hill, which proves this point.  While we were getting in the elevator in one of the buildings which houses the offices of members of Congress, a large group of “lobbyists” from a neighboring country of Macedonia were in the hallway. They were there for the same reasons we were, but their interests are not supportive of the Macedonian people.

This is exactly why advocating on behalf of Macedonians is critical.

The United Macedonian Diaspora’s Headquarters may be in Washington D.C, but I like to think they have satellite offices in every home of every Macedonian in the United States. 

Let’s make 2019 the year for the Macedonian voice to be heard loud and clear in our homes, in our hearts, and in the ears of our elected public officials.  

The views of the author may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Macedonian Diaspora and Generation M.

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