PALCUS Chairman’s Message
It is an honor to have been elected to chair the Board of Directors of the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States – PALCUS, the most prominent national organization advocating for the interests of the Portuguese-American community. PALCUS deals with issues that affect our communities from California to New England and everywhere that Portuguese-Americans reside.
PALCUS traces its beginning to the early 90′s when a group of successful Portuguese- Americans, led by Mr. Miguel Bensaude decided that a national voice was needed to maintain a dialogue between the Portuguese government, via its embassy in Washington, D.C., and the United States Congress. History tells us that PALCUS was established in 1991 as a private, non-partisan organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia and recognized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
Over the past 20 years the organization has evolved and matured guided by a dedicated volunteer board of directors representing Portuguese-American communities throughout the United States. PALCUS has worked consistently and tirelessly weathering changes in political and financial climates to create and expand its programs. Its activities and events are mission-driven to address the community’s needs in the strategic areas of government affairs, international affairs, educational opportunities, Portuguese language and culture, community outreach and recognition of our community’s success.
PALCUS carries out its mission through 1) its strong relationship with the Portuguese government, including the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, 2) a network of congressional contacts through the Friends of Portugal in the U.S. Senate and the Portuguese-American Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, 3) an internship program that has provided experience and networking opportunities to over 140 young Portuguese-Americans, 4) the school adoption program that supports the teaching of the Portuguese language, 5) forums, mixers and meetings with community leaders and PALCUS members, 6) attendance at local events, festas and conferences and 7) its annual leadership awards program that has recognized and celebrated the achievement of over 60 talented Portuguese-Americans…and much more.
I have been involved with PALCUS for many years and I have had the honor of chairing several of the Leadership Award Galas in many of our communities. It is an amazing opportunity to meet our fellow Portuguese-Americans in the heart of their neighborhoods, to learn about their personal and organizational challenges and to celebrate their achievements and success in this land of opportunity.
We, as Portuguese-Americans, need PALCUS to be a strong voice to advocate for us on issues of importance to all of us. In order to accomplish our mission and objectives, PALCUS continues to need the unified support of all members of our community. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and membership, I invite you to join us, to become a member today, to help us to grow and to continue to be the stable and unified force for the good of our community.
Thank you as always for your support.
Fernando G. Rosa, Chairman