While Athens and Nicosia are making an effort to enhance alliances and collaborations with key international players in the geopolitical and economic arena, there is a parameter that will always have its own added value and that is the Greek diaspora.
The stronger the diaspora’s say in the political process of key countries, the greater its power to support Greece and Cyprus when they face challenges.
Now the Greek-American community has a chance to strengthen its impact in the United States Congress following the decision by Natalia Linos, a social epidemiologist, to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Linos, an accomplished scientist (she is executive director of Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights), is today expected to officially announce her bid to become the Democratic candidate for Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District. The state is special to the Greek Orthodox community as it hosts the Hellenic College and the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Five representatives of Greek descent are currently serving in the US Congress, namely Democrats John Sarbanes, Charlie Crist, Chris Pappas and Dina Titus and – the sole Republican – Gus Bilirakis.
If the above succeed in renewing their mandate in November’s elections, which looks possible, and if Linos also wins her own race, then six seats in the House of Representatives, in the world’s biggest power, will be occupied by Greek Americans.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Linos is looking to replace Congressman Joe Kennedy III, the grandnephew of John F. Kennedy. But it won’t be an easy task. The seat will be contested by a number of candidates representing rival factions inside the Democratic Party, ranging from moderate to radical on the ideological spectrum.
The clashes between conservatives and liberals, between Republicans and Democrats, and even within the parties, certainly warrant attention. But when it comes to supporting the rights of Greece and Cyprus and strengthening the bridge connecting the United States and Hellenism, any American politician of Greek descent serving in the Congress is important and can prove useful.
Natalia Linos looks like a person that would make her community proud and serve her country with distinction.