American Citizens Abroad (ACA) Grants the Benjamin Franklin Award to Congressional Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Joe Wilson

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American Citizens Abroad (ACA) celebrates its 30th anniversary by granting the Benjamin Franklin Award to Congressional Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Joe Wilson (R-SC). With this award, ACA is honoring Representatives Maloney and Wilson for co-founding and co-chairing the Americans Abroad Caucus in 2007. American Citizens Abroad (ACA), a non-profit, non-partisan, Geneva-based organization, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2008 representing the interests of Americans all over the world. The Benjamin Franklin Award was created by ACA to recognize members of Congress for their extraordinary contribution on behalf of overseas Americans.

American Citizens Abroad (ACA) is proud to announce that it has granted the Benjamin Franklin Award for 2008 to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC). With this award, ACA is honoring Representatives Maloney and Wilson for co-founding and co-chairing the Americans Abroad Caucus in 2007.

In 2008, American Citizens Abroad (ACA), a non-profit, non-partisan, Geneva-based organization, is celebrating its 30th anniversary representing the interests of Americans who live outside the United States.

The Benjamin Franklin Award was created by ACA to recognize members of Congress for outstanding contributions on behalf of overseas Americans. The award has been given only once before in the early 1980s to Representatives Bill Alexander (D-AR) and Bob McClory (R-IL).

"Americans overseas face difficulties on many vital issues including citizenship, healthcare, taxation and social security," explained Jackie Bugnion, Member of the Executive Committee. "ACA is very pleased that the Caucus provides a forum in Congress where these concerns can not only be discussed and understood, but solutions can also be found."

ACA considers that Representatives Maloney and Wilson, in founding the Americans Abroad Caucus, have manifested their recognition of the important role played by overseas Americans as unofficial diplomats representing the interests of the United States abroad as well as their support for the particular issues which concern American citizens living overseas. All Americans abroad see the Americans Abroad Caucus as a major step forward in obtaining a voice in Washington and place high hopes in the Caucus.

Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Wilson founded the Americans Abroad Caucus during Overseas Americans Week in Washington D.C., in April 2007. Overseas Americans Week brings together representatives of three leading organizations representing the interests of Americans overseas - American Citizens Abroad (ACA), the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), and the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO). The caucus now counts 24 members, representing many states and all regions of the nation. Six Republicans and eighteen Democrats are members. ACA looks forward to working with these Representatives in Congress to advance the cause of Americans residing and working overseas. Photos and biographies of the members of the Americans Abroad Caucus can be found on the ACA website at http://www.aca.ch.

For thirty years ACA has been one of the leading organizations speaking out on behalf of the millions of US citizens living abroad. ACA keeps its members regularly informed on American legislation which affects them, and works to assist Washington in developing cohesive national policies dealing with Americans residing abroad. Thanks to ACA, a number of laws and regulations have been changed, improving the rights of overseas Americans in the areas of citizenship, taxation and voting.

ACA takes great pride in granting this award to Representatives Maloney and Wilson and salutes them for their exemplary service to their country and to the overseas American community. In July 2008, an award ceremony will be held in Washington DC where both representatives will receive a plaque of appreciation from a representative of American Citizens Abroad.

Written by Dorothy van Schooneveld, Anne Hornung-Soukup (members of the ACA Executive Committee), and Megha Kulshreshtha (ACA Political Science intern).

For further information contact:
American Citizens Abroad
5 Rue Liotard, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: 41-22-340 0233. Email: (info.aca @ gmail.com)
http://www.aca.ch

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