LOS ANGELES, CA – With no seats left for the overflow crowd in attendance, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) addressed an enthusiastic audience at an ANC Leadership Institute gathering held on Sunday, September 29, 2002. The event brought together a number of Armenian-American activists who were interested in hearing from Pallone, who serves as the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
“I am pleased that the ANC Leadership Institute continues to bring together some of the best and brightest minds in our community,” commented ANCA-WR Board Member Raffi Hamparian. “I am also especially happy that our Leadership Institute events continue to draw so many young professionals who care about the Armenian Cause,” he added.
Arbi Ohanian, a 27-year-old community activist and medical professional from Pasadena attended the event with Representative Pallone. It was his second ANC Leadership event. “I enjoy the opportunity to meet prominent national leaders in a small setting, where you can speak directly with them, without large crowds. Today I got to speak personally with Congressman Pallone, which I appreciated,” he added.
Pallone, a seven-term Member of Congress from New Jersey and the most senior representative of the State, provided an in-depth view of the challenges and opportunities facing Armenian issues in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congressman dedicated a portion of his remarks to how the Turkish Government has attempted to capitalize, politically, from the post 9/11 atmosphere in Washington. He also commented on the prospects of advancing two key issues; Armenian Genocide recognition and securing ample U.S. aid for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.
Pallone provided a helpful update on Turkey’s effort to secure passage of legislation, in both the U.S. House and Senate, which would allow a large number of Turkish products to enter into the U.S. duty free. The ANCA and its local chapters are fighting this legislation, which is being actively supported by the Bush Administration. The ANCA website – www.anca.org – has an action alert which allows individuals to voice their opposition to this unwarranted legislation.
The Armenian National Committee Leadership Institute was launched in the year 2002 to bring prominent political, academic, and civic leaders from across the United States and the world face-to-face with Armenian-American leaders from a variety of backgrounds.
Previous Leadership Institute speakers have included Samantha Power, author of A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Richard Giragosian, a noted political analyst for Radio Free Europe and the author of the monthly newsletter Transcaucasus: A Chronology has spoken at a briefing sponsored by the ANC Leadership Institute. Israel Charny, the noted author of the Encyclopedia of Genocide, has also spoken at a program organized by the Institute.
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.