Vakarine Programa: Chat with Rep. Shimkus


For those of you who might be unfamiliar with ‘vakarine programa’, it literally means ‘night program’. Those who know – know it means much more.

These programs were the stuff of legends. Biggest hits include Knygnesiai (game about book-smugglers), Tasku Taskai (The Points Game), and lauzas (fire night).

One classic was a reiteration of a game that has its roots similar to a less-dangerous version of the Tri-Wizard Cup.



First, everyone gets dressed for a theme. I wonder what the theme was for this event..

Theme for Rep. Shimkus Night

Dress up like a Studentas Ateitininkas!

Basically, dress up in business attire. For Ateitininkai that have your studentu juosta, plan on at least bringing it.


There are three teams usually. (whoah, just like the Tri-Wizard Cup). Coincidence??

Teams for Rep. Shimkus Night

These will be assigned as you register. First assignments will be sent out either August 8th or August 9th. If you’d like to pick a specific team, that’s ok!

House Baltic Caucus Team

  • Goal: Rep. Shimkus is retiring at the end of 2020 after being the Republican chair for basically forever. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), is planning on taking over next if he wins re-election (it’s a close race). We need to protect the future of the House Baltic Caucus, and want to learn the following:
    • Rep. Shimkus’s highlights of the HBC over the years
    • What makes the HBC tick/spring into action.
    • What can be done to make the HBC more effective in the future.
  • Research: The latest list of House Baltic Caucus members can be found here. Not much research probably has to be done here. Knowing what the House Baltic Caucus does is probably enough.
  • Presentation: Up to the team on how you’d like to present! I recommend asking direct questions and being open to a conversation. Rep. Shimkus should probably also be thanked for his service, which includes coalescing Congress to get behind Lithuanian, Latvia, and Estonia joining NATO. How should we thank him?

Nord Stream 2 Team

  • Goals:
    • Have Rep. Shimkus co-sponsor H.R. 7361. The bill would would expand sanctions against Russia for building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
    • Gather intelligence. See what Rep. Shimkus knows, and if he knows how we can help pass this bill.
    • Hopefully get Rep. Shimkus to fight for this bill!
  • Research:  You can learn more about Nord Stream 2 here. Accomplishing our goals doesn’t require an expertise on the issue, and Rep. Shimkus knows that.
  • Presentation: Also up to the team! Again, preparing direct questions is very valuable.

Ateitininku Team

  • Goal: Kick off a relationship with Congress and Ateitininkai. If Ateitininkai want to advocate in the future, a relationship makes advocacy much easier. If a relationship is begun here, it can begin with other members of Congress.
  • Research: What are Ateitininkai about? What kind of political history do Ateitininkai have?
  • Presentation: You guessed it, up to you! Do you just want to chat with him? Should you invite him to Dainava??


Prep time makes the best time! This is the part in the Tri-Wizard Cup when Neville Longbottom says ‘Oh Harry, you should try gillyweed to breathe underwater!’ Harry would have died if it weren’t for Neville doing his research! This is high stakes stuff.

Preparation for Rep. Shimkus night

Take a moment to read the Preparing for the Rep. Shimkus Meeting blog post. Also, take time to research the relevant issues on

On Wednesday, August  12th, at 8pmET/7pmCT, we will be hosting a Zoom meeting to spend some time to prepare. To receive the link, email me at or

The night of the meeting, we’ll also all be logging on 30 minutes before Rep. Shimkus so we can go over some last-minute prep stuff.


Time to show everyone else what you’ve got! Only this time when you win, you don’t meet Voldemort. You’re actually defeating Voldemort Putin – I mean Vladimir Putin.

Presentation for Rep. Shimkus night

We’ll have about 30 minutes to chat with Rep. Shimkus. So each issue should only take 5-7 minutes, max. That way, we’ll have some time just to hear what Rep. Shimkus has to say to us too.

Making a Difference

If you are attending the meeting, you are doing something good. We’re tackling high-level stuff – protecting European energy independence, ensuring the security of a strong future House Baltic Caucus (ensuring greater security for the Baltics), and beginning the relationship between Ateitininkai and parts of Congress.

In short, you’re protecting Lietuva, Latvia, and Estija. Aciu.

For the captains

Thank you so much for volunteering! All I ask is the following:

– Set up some communication with people in your team. As people RSVP, names can be sent to you for who’s on your team.
– Feel free to recruit people to your team!
– Have at least someone on your team attend this Wednesday’s strategy session
– Make sure something is prepared for the Shimkus meeting
– Have someone take notes on your issue during the meeting. We’re collecting valuable information, so let’s make sure to keep it.
If you need help with anything, please feel free to let me know. I can help guide you through presentation ideas too.

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