October 10, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ardashes Kassakhian
tel: (818) 500-1918

ANC AND MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES UNITE TO KEEP CITY TOGETHER

Encino, CA – At a press conference covered by The Los Angeles Times, KTLA Channel 5, KFWB Radio, and other major media sources, the Armenian National Committee announced its support for keeping Los Angeles united. Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, who leads the second largest city in the United States, joined the ANC at the press conference. The press conference was held on the campus of the Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School in Encino. Proposition F, which will be on the ballot this November, seeks to divide the San Fernando Valley from the rest of the City of Los Angeles. The ANC is opposed to this proposition and urges all Armenian-Americans voters in Los Angeles to vote against Proposition F. The ANC also urges voters to oppose Proposition H, which would separate Hollywood from the City of Los Angeles. The Chairman of the ANCA-WR, Steve Dadaian was quoted in The Los Angeles Times as saying, “We [the Armenian-American community] think of our ourselves as one community in Los Angeles. We do not want to divide up our community.” At the press conference Mayor Hahn praised the ANC for looking after the interests of the Armenian-American community. He also praised each of the many community organizations present for working to keep Los Angeles united. Speaking at the press conference, Michael Mahdesian, a longtime ANC supporter who currently serves as President of the South Valley Area Planning Commission, made the following remarks; “By using its clout as America’s second largest city, Los Angeles has leveraged federal and state dollars to help provide numerous services to Armenians at the entry level, from seniors to after school programs for students, to help for low-income families. The city has enabled the Armenian community to thrive and become a key part of the fabric of life here by supporting cultural festivals, sports activities and educational exhibits on Armenian history. There is no guarantee that the services that a strong Los Angeles has provided the Armenian community will continue if the city is split up into weaker parts.” The Commissioner added, “Secession, like any divorce, will be messy and should be a last resort, only when there are irreconcilable differences, we are a long way from that in Los Angeles.” Also speaking at the press conference was ANCA-WR Board member Raffi Hamparian. He commented that, “the ANC has decided to oppose the proposed secession of the San Fernando Valley from the City of Los Angeles due to its probable negative impact on the over 100,000 Armenian-Americans who call the San Fernando Valley home.” The press conference drew leaders from a number of major community organizations based in the San Fernando Valley. Attendees included the chairman of the West San Fernando Valley ANC chapter Vahe Melkonian and chairman the East San Fernando Valley ANC, Tomas Azaian. A number of ANCA-WR Board members were present, including Koko Balian, Berdj Karapetian, and Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian. Also represented were area AYF chapters, the Homenetmen, Hamazkayin, Armenian Relief Society, among others. Representing the ARF Central Committee was longtime ANC supporter and Valley resident, Armand Keosian. Together, these organizations represent thousands of families that live in the San Fernando Valley. Prior to his press conference, Mayor Hahn took a tour of Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School with the institution’s Principal, John Kossakian and ANCA-WR Governmental Affairs Director Ardashes Kassakhian. Joining the Mayor were a number of ANC officials and the Chairman of the Valley’s ARF Rosdom Committee, Garo Kamarian. The Mayor was able to meet with a number of students and see many of the improvements that have been made to Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School over the past year. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) 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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