XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in America
October 1, 2022
On March 10, 2021, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of nearly 2 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, hosted a virtual meeting of UCCA’s National Council, UCCA’s highest ruling body. As with the meeting held over the Zoom video and audio conferencing platform for the first time ever on May 14, 2020, the date of the planned XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in America, UCCA’s quadrennial convention which since 1972 has coincided with U.S. Presidential election years, was once again discussed, given the repercussions related to the global pandemic of the novel COVID-19 virus.
Presided over by Council Chair, Stefan Kaczaraj, the President/CEO of the Ukrainian National Association (UNA), UCCA’s National Council ratified a proposal from the Presidium of UCCA’s Executive Committee to schedule the XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in October 2022. As with the initial decision to set a date outside of the 2020 Presidential election year, this decision was made in accordance with the 2020 opinion issued by UCCA’s Bylaws committee. Furthermore, notwithstanding naming this event in 2022 as the “XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in America,” according to UCCA’s Bylaws, this event will be an Extraordinary Convention of UCCA falling outside the regular schedule of conventions; therefore, UCCA’s National Council affirmed that the executive officers elected at the XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in America will be limited in serving in their positions until those positions are once again up for election at the next regularly scheduled convention in 2024.
Since UCCA’s conventions have for nearly 50 years served as a venue for U.S. presidential campaigns to share their visions of U.S.-Ukraine relations, scheduling the XXIII Congress of Ukrainians in October 2022 will instead coincide with the 2022 Mid-Term Elections in the United States. On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested, potentially influencing the make-up of both the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and the Senate Ukraine Caucus. Following an historic election in 2020, with over 150 million combined votes cast for the first time in U.S. history, UCCA will once again endeavor to spark civic engagement through its convention to maximize the Ukrainian American presence at the polls, with the goal of convincing incoming Representatives and Senators to continue to enact vital Congressional support for Ukraine.
As the health and well-being of the Ukrainian American community is, and should always be, a priority for the leadership of that community, UCCA’s National Office and UCCA’s Washington, D.C., based bureau—the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS)—will endeavor to engage our hromada in alternate ways until our community can gather in person at our convention in 2022.