Presita el Usona Esperantisto № 2024:1 - “Esperanto-USA salutas vin”

President’s Report for Bulletin 2024:1

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2024-03-21

Hello! I’m really excited to share updates in this, the first issue of Usona Esperantisto for 2024, the first to be edited by our new editorial team of Alena Adler and Logan Hall, and the first to be printed by our new printer.

You may in fact be holding Usona Esperantisto in your hands for the first time ever as you read this. We are very proud of this issue and of the work that our editors have done, and proud to send it to every single member, as required by our bylaws. We heard a lot of feedback from members at the Landa Kongreso in Raleigh that they would like to receive a printed version of the newsletter. Not everyone knew that they could, or how to request this. In some cases, readers unexpectedly received the printed version, and found that they read many more of the articles than when they only viewed the bulletin online. We listened to this feedback and took it on board.

We’re fortunate to have found and partnered with Nero Ink, a worker-owned print shop in Chicago that looks for every possible way to make their process more ecologically friendly, such as low heat printing and closed loop recycling. Nero understands the alignment between their values and ours, and they are working closely with us to make this transition successful.

You may even be surprised to have received this issue, if your membership expired sometime in the last few years. Consider it a gift from us. We are confident that this issue is a good representation of the many exciting activities that are happening in and around Esperanto-USA, and invite you to see for yourself. If you like what you see, and want to support it and to get involved, we would love to have you rejoin! You should see a QR code on the cover that will help you do that.

Whether you’re a current member or have lapsed sometime in the past few years, I’d like to let you know more about the many things that are happening.

As I mentioned above, this is the first issue edited by the dynamic duo of Logan and Alena. They have taken the baton from Hoss Firooznia, who did an excellent job as editor for many years, and they have hit the ground running. I’m very happy with what I’ve seen so far, and I trust you will be too!

This year will also see a big transition in our Central Office. Amanda Higley Schmidt began in her role as Transitional Director of the Central Office in January, and is currently working on all of the many items which will need to be transitioned to allow Bill Harris to retire later this year, after nearly 20 years of service to the organization. I’m confident that Amanda will bring a lot to the role!

We’ve got plenty of other things going on. I’ll start with a quick review of the second half of 2023, and then discuss what’s on our radar for 2024.

I’ll keep the 2023 review very brief. We had two very positive signs early on: one was the large number of Americans who went to Torino for the Universala Kongreso; the other was a sizable bequest from Ron and Ann Swenson which has put us on a much stronger financial footing. You can read articles about both of those in the last issue of UE. The Board of Esperanto-USA also supported local groups to participate in the Paralela Universo, with good results; and we gave support for several Americans to go to the Tut-Amerika Kongreso de Esperanto in Brazil, where we were the largest group from outside of Brazil! There is an issue about TAKE in this issue as well as the previous one.

For 2024, things are looking bright! Our goal for the Landa Kongreso is 100 participants, which would be the biggest in decades; by the end of the early bird period, we had 75, which is a great sign. (And if you’re not one of those 75, it’s not too late to sign up - look for the announcement in this issue!) We’re excited to hold it at Cal State Dominguez Hills – which holds an excellent Esperanto archive – and to host the annual meetings of the Kanada Esperanto-Asocio and the Ligo de Samseksemaj Geesperantistoj.

For the first time in years, there is an active group of young Esperantists in the US who are coordinating with each other. We have written recommendations for several of them to support applications for scholarships to attend the Internacia Junulara Kongreso in Lithuania, and we’re also looking forward to seeing them at NASK and at our Kongreso.

We’re continuing to expand our educational engagements. This includes ongoing support for the Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro, the establishment of the first-ever “Mini-NASK” crash course during our Kongreso, discussions with Cal State Dominguez Hills about possibilities for ongoing collaboration, working closer with the Esperantic Studies Foundation, and initial explorations of the possibility of establishing a scholarship program. I am particularly excited about a joint project with the Brazila Esperanto-Ligo to support a school in Brazil which teaches Esperanto (among other subjects) to young children whose parents are in prison. A visit to this school was one of the highlights of TAKE.

In addition to the strong relationship that we built with the Brazilian movement during TAKE, we are expanding our connections to samideanoj in North and South America. With many Canadians registered for our upcoming Kongreso, I’m sure that we’ll find a lot of ways to work together. (Don’t miss the upcoming Kanada Virtuala Kongreso on April 6, which they’ve invited us to participate in!) We have also appointed Jonathan Thomas as our representative on UEA’s Amerika Komisiono. Jonathan recently participated in a meeting with representatives from across the Americas. We are also increasing our involvement with UEA, and our support for the office of UEA at the United Nations in New York.

As you can see in this short update, and will see in more detail in the pages of this issue, there is a lot going on! Many hands make light work - now is the perfect time to ensure your dues are up to date, to set up auto-renewal, to rejoin if your membership has lapsed, and perhaps even to consider an additional donation, such as through ESF’s matching fund program. Now is also a great time to get involved in one of our volunteer committees, which are always looking for new members and new energy.

Your support will help us make sure that the first issue of 2025 is even more full of exciting updates!

Samideane via,

Brandon Sowers