Established in 1961, JBANC has represented the Baltic-American communities and its three parent organizations, the American Latvian Association, the Estonian American National Council, and the Lithuanian American Council. Our goal has been to help coordinate their activities in Washington, DC with the U.S. Congress and administration and its related agencies in conjunction with issues related to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. We have taken great pride in over half a century in joint Baltic cooperation and in being able to help coordinate and consolidate our common interests.
JBANC helped to support the Baltic countries as they sought membership in NATO, an issue that closely united the activities of Americans of Baltic heritage. That goal was achieved in 2004.
Since then our mission broadened to take on new and more diverse issues related to the security and stability of the Baltic countries, ranging from supporting democracy, civil society and human movements in other regions of Europe to advocating for continued strong U.S. engagement with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, whether via military, civilian, or economic ties.
We have not forgotten the tragedies of foreign occupation and oppression of the Baltic countries and peoples, or the need to remain vigilant in an era when energy is ever more used as a weapon for political gain, cyber warfare has emerged as a reality, and international economic worries are a continuous concern.
More recently, JBANC actively supported legislation to sanction those responsible for the murder of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia, and more broadly against other human rights offenders. The Magnitsky Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012.
During the 112th and 113th Congresses, JBANC helped lead efforts to pass a Black Ribbon Day resolution, supporting the designation of August 23 as a day to commemorate victims of both Soviet and Nazi crimes. Similar legislation has passed earlier in Europe and Canada. The U.S. House passed the resolution in May 2014, introduced by long-time House Baltic Caucus co-chairman Rep. John Shimkus.
JBANC has also closely engaged on legislation and activities in support of democracy and freedom in Ukraine, particularly following the Russian invasion in 2014. Those efforts, including the bolstering of reassurances for the Baltic countries and other affected NATO members, continue unabated today. JBANC’s 11th conference, being held in Washington, DC on April 16-18, 2015 is a timely reflection of those growing concerns about the increasing dangers presented by Putin’s Russia.
JBANC is also a member of both the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) an umbrella organization uniting 18 national organizations, and representing over 20 million U.S. citizens, and the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, with headquarters in Prague. For more information: http://ceecoalition.us and http://www.memoryandconscience.eu/
JBANC has established close contacts with congressional offices and has helped to expand the Congressional Baltic Caucuses to include 48 Members in the House of Representatives. The Caucus leadership is shared between a Republican and a Democrat, Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), respectively.
House Baltic Caucus:
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA)
Rep. James F. Bridenstine (R-OK) - joined July 2013
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) - joined August 2013
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) - joined February 2013
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) - joined November 2013
Rep. Gerry E. Connolly (D-VA)
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) - joined February 2013
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) - joined July 2014
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) – joined September 2015
Rep. John Larson (D-CT)
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) - joined July 2013
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) - joined August 2014
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) – joined October 2015
Rep. David Price (D-NC)
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) - joined December 2014
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) - joined July 2013
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) - House Baltic Caucus co-chair
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) - House Baltic Caucus co-chair
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) - joined August 2014
Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-OH) - joined February 2014
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) - joined February 2013
Updated November 6, 2015