Interning at ANCA has always been interesting, but this week and the weeks to follow are going to be even more action-packed than ever. To kick off everything,
Thursday April 19th was Advocacy Day. I am sure that you have heard about it. This was the first time that I was participating and I was fascinated by it. Even though it was during the week and we still had work on Friday, I am very glad I was able to go to Sacramento.
I have been interning here for about four months already, but being at the Capitol and seeing Senators speaking about the Armenian Genocide resolution was when it really hit me the impact of this organization. We can all sit around and talk about doing something, but that does not mean any of us will actually turn our words into actions. In Sacramento, all I saw were people putting their words to work and getting something done. It is good to talk about something, but when you see the results of your actions and others around you, it is just mesmerizing.
We arrived in Sacramento Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Some of us were able to get maybe two or three hours of sleep, but I know that the committee who was in charge of the event got no sleep at all. We got to the Capitol at 8:00 AM and immediately went into the Senate meeting. Armenian Genocide: Day of Remembrance resolution was being discussed. We got to hear many Senators such as Kevin De Leon, Carol Liu and others speak about it and in the end it was unanimously passed in Senate and Assembly. After that we had a reception where elected officials spoke about the Armenian Genocide. When that ended, we were divided into groups and we met with officials to speak about Armenian-American issues that need to be addressed. Most of that lasted until 2:00 PM after which we watched a documentary called, “ My Mother’s Voice” by Kay Mouradian. I thought the documentary was very interesting and it made me think of all of my relatives that survived the genocide. I wish I was able to talk to them, but by the time I was born they had all passed away. My great grandmother, who passed away last year, was born a couple of years after the Genocide.
I think that these past two days have been very tiring because of the bus rides and lack of sleep, but if I had another chance I would gladly participate again. It is an experience that you cannot get anywhere else, and you learn so much about what American politics really is. I got to meet many elected officials and see the Capitol. Even the bus ride was fun since you can’t go somewhere with Armenians and not have singing and dancing.