San Jose, CA – Armenian American issues were brought center stage at the California Democratic Party Convention held in San Jose last weekend. For the fourth consecutive year, the ANCA-WR had a major display at the Democratic Convention, which drew over 1,500 delegates and public officials. The ANCA-WR will also be hosting a major display at the upcoming California Republican Party Convention next month in Burlingame.
A Presidential candidate, Members of Congress, State Legislators, and political activists from across the State of California visited the ANCA-WR exhibit at the Convention, which included information on Armenian history and culture, as well as material on several ongoing ANC public policy initiatives. The ANCA-WR exhibit was staffed by Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian and over a dozen volunteers from the San Francisco-Bay Area and Central California ANC Chapters.
“It is encouraging to know that our ANC staff and volunteers had a positive impact at the Convention in educating California Democrats on issues important to Armenian American voters,” explained ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “As the State’s largest, most organized, most efficient Armenian-American public affairs organization, the ANC has an obligation to be at marquee political events, like State Party Conventions,” he added.
Among those who visited the ANCA-WR exhibit at the Convention were US Representative Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, State Controller Steve Westly, and dozens of California State Legislators, local officials and prominent political activists.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Congressman Dennis Kucinich made a point of visiting the ANCA-WR exhibit. In remarks to ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian, he thanked the ANC for keeping people’s memory aware of the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide. “We need to live in a world where we can get past events like this. But the only way we can is to acknowledge that they happened,” Kucinich remarked.
ANCA-WR activists also interacted with the son of Presidential Candidate Wesley Clark, who reiterated his father’s support for full US recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Wesley Clark, Jr. was at the Convention in lieu of his father, who was campaigning in New Hampshire in advance of that state’s January 27 Presidential Primary.
While at the California Democratic Party Convention, ANC activists participated in a number of workshops, which included focused seminars on campaigning, campaign finance regulations, among other important topics.