On Tuesday, November 12, the Polish American Citizens Club elected its officers and Board of Directors for 2020. All officers ran unopposed and were reelected to another term - Mrs. Stasia Kacprzak, of Dorchester, President; Mr. Joseph Nowak, of Dorchester, Vice President, Mr. Peter Dziedzic, of South Boston, Treasurer, and Mrs. Erica Manczuk Stocks, of Dorchester, Recording Secretary.
Mr. Keith Stocks, of Dorchester, was elected to the Board of Directors for his first term and incumbent directors, Ms. Dawn Morris, of Dorchester; Mr. Jay Judas, of South Boston; Mr. Eric Basile, Arlington; and Mr. Hugh Whiting, Jr., of Rockland, all retained their seats on the board. The officers and directors are responsible for the operations and financial management of the club. They also plan events, like Polish Fest Boston, and work with community stakeholders on projects that bring visibility to the club, the Polish Triangle, and Boston’s Polish-American community.
“Despite low voter turnout, I am very appreciative of the members who came out to cast their ballot,” said President Kacprzak. “Our club needs the energy, enthusiasm, and support of civic and community-minded young people in order to be successful and I am delighted to work with the new officers and directors.”
With a changing neighborhood and more of Boston’s Polish-American community moving beyond city limits, club membership and engagement has unfortunately waned in the last ten years. In an effort to increase membership and be more inclusive, in April 2019, the members voted to update the membership criteria to allow those with more distant Polish heritage to become full members.
Regular, voting membership is now open to any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older, who was born in Poland or has a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent born in Poland. Any person who is married to a person or adopted by a person who meet the above criteria can also join as regular members. Regular members have full voting rights and can be elected as officers or directors.
“As a club, we wanted to make sure our membership criteria was in line with other Polish-American clubs around the country,” said Mrs. Stocks. “Many were defining regular or full membership in a much broader way than we had been, so the decision was made to update the membership criteria.” Officers hope that this change will increase membership and encourage 2nd and 3rd generation Polish-Americans and those who have married into a Polish family to become full voting members.