November 2, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Haig Hovsepian
tel: (818) 500-1918

ANC Activists from Across the Western United States Travel to Washington DC to Participate in Advocacy Days

Washington, D.C. – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) welcomed news that activists from across the western United States traveled to Capitol Hill the week of October 22, 2007 to participate in the ANCA’s advocacy days in support of H. Res. 106. Constituents visited the nation’s capital to express their disappointment and concern over the Turkish government’s denialist lobbying efforts and the President’s opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution (H. Res. 106).

The Armenian Genocide resolution was adopted by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) by a vote of 27-21 on October 10, 2007. The resolution was passed in the face of unprecedented opposition from an “army” of registered lobbyists. The measure enjoys the support of over 200 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and has not yet been scheduled for a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Seeing our grassroots supporters traveling en masse to Capitol Hill reassures Members of Congress that American citizens – in fact these Members’ own constituents – strongly support this measure,” stated ANC-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian. “These individuals wish to encourage Members of Congress to remain firm and principled in the face of threats and intimidation by a supposed ally, Turkey,” he added.

Activists blanketed Capitol Hill offices with materials urging support for H. Res. 106 while simultaneously meeting with various Members of Congress and their staffs. Among those participating in the week’s efforts included Hovig Shrikian, Sona Avakian and Khachig Tazian from the San Francisco/Bay Area ANC, William Bairamian from the Glendale ANC, Azniv Goenjian from the South Bay ANC, Nora Hovsepian, Shoghig Dikijan and Rouzanna Egian from the West San Fernando Valley ANC, Melania Melikian from the Texas ANC, Garo Manjikian from the Santa Barbara ANC and activist Rose Nazarian-Fagerian.

The Armenian Genocide resolution was adopted by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) by a vote of 27-21 on October 10, 2007. The resolution was passed in the face of unprecedented opposition from an “army” of registered lobbyists. The measure enjoys the support of over 200 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and has not yet been scheduled for a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Aside from meetings with Congressional offices, activists also attended a briefing on United States foreign policy in the Middle East held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and featuring Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. During the briefing, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-46) challenged Secretary Rice’s characterization of H. Res. 106, stating that, “I think I speak for my colleagues here, that this vote was a human rights vote and a recognition of a human rights violation.”

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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Photo Caption #1: ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, ANCA-Western Region Executive Director Andrew Kzirian and California ANC Activists Nora Hovsepian, Azniv Goenjian and Khatchig Tazian meet in Washington, DC.

Photo Caption #2: Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV-02) is joined by ANC West San Fernando Valley Activist Rouzanna Egian, ANC San Francisco / Bay Area Activist Sona Avakian and ANCA Legislative Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian.

Photo Caption #3: Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA-03) is joined by ANC West San Fernando Valley Activist Rouzanna Egian, ANC San Francisco / Bay Area Activist Sona Avakian and ANCA Legislative Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian. Avakian’s father, Mr. Bob Avakian, played a critical role in managing Camp Haiastan as its Director in Franklin, MA. The camp falls within the Congressman’s Congressional District.

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