By: Joseph Kazazian
My first Advocacy Day feels like it was a century ago. It was my first experience in Sacramento, and being the political geek that I am, I felt like a kid in a candy store. There were so many powerful people around me. There was so much respect for the institution of California Democracy.
Now, lets fast-forward five years. I went from a rookie to being a senior member of the ANCA-WR’s Government Affairs Committee. I went from being a naïve kid to being a veteran in California Politics. You study the institutions as an undergrad, and then figure out how to work the odds in your favor as a full-fledged activist.
In between, there have been many advocacy days, each with a different feel from the previous one. My first advocacy day had close to a hundred people. Last year we had close to 700 people. With each experience came new lessons, and a new drive to keep going. Along the way, I’ve met some of the brightest minds our community has. I’ve met students who were freshmen at the time, who now lead the charge for what needs to get done for the community. Some of them are on my committee as well.
None of these awesome experiences would be possible without the Western Region’s Government Affairs Committee. We’re like a big unit of professionals by day, who spend their nights actively planning and setting Armenian American policy goals for the Western United States. However, the Government Affairs Committee is more to me. It’s my family. They’ve been an active part of my life, and have been a huge part of my personal and professional growth. I am blessed for all the effort they’ve put into not just Armenian American issues, but for helping me foster my own personal growth.
This year, the truth remains the same: Armenian-Americans are a political force to be reckoned with. Come and join us at the State Capitol. Come and help us fight for issues we all care about. Your first visit probably will not be your last. Make some awesome memories while you advocate for your community.
On Monday, April 18, 2016 ANCA-Western Region will be hosting their Annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento, California. Armenian-Americans from all over California will be gathering to advocate issues of concern for their communities. Transportation will be provided from Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco; to find out times, location and cost of travel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (818) 500-1918.
For additional information/registration for Advocacy Day visit www.ancawr.org/advocacyday or https://fr-ca.facebook.com/events/460299414170933/ .