SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The Armenian National Committee of Arizona (ANC of AZ) hosted its spring community issues briefing this past Sunday at the Armenian Cultural Center’s Melikian Hall in Scottsdale, Arizona. Joining the ANC of Arizona for the event was Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman, Ken Hachikian and Armenian National Committee – Western Region (ANC-WR) Community Relations Director, Haig Hovsepian. The two, along with ANC of Arizona Chairwoman, Salpi Demirjian, updated the community regarding the efforts of their respective organizations and Armenian American issues being addressed in the national, regional, and local arenas.
“Having Ken and Haig to participate in our town hall meeting is especially important as we start the new year,” said Demirjian. “With a new Congress and Administration as well as our own state and many municipalities throughout Arizona all swinging into full session, it is important that we do our best to educate the community on how issues of importance to them are being addressed at all these levels and how they can get involved to help make a difference,” she added.
Since the ANC of Arizona’s previous town hall meeting in October, the ANC of Arizona has been active on several fronts including participating in the annual Scottsdale Armenian Festival, organizing a get out the vote effort for the November General Elections, and participating in the ANCA’s National Day of Service Project “Cans for the Cause” in which they collected nearly 600 food items for the Saint Mary’s food bank in Phoenix.
Hachikian discussed recent developments in the nation’s capital, including the new Armenian Genocide resolution to be introduced by US Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA-29) and George Radanovich (R-CA-19). During the previous Congress, over half of the Arizona Congressional delegation co-sponsored the previous Armenian Genocide resolution, H.Res.106. Hachikian encouraged ANCA activists to keep connected with the ANCA office in Washington, D.C. through its website, www.anca.org. He noted that grassroots efforts to educate neighbors, friends, and elected officials are the foundation to success for any issue addressed in Washington, D.C.
Hovsepian updated the Arizona community regarding the work of the ANC-WR and its efforts to help local communities through leadership training and workshops including a range of internship programs and volunteer opportunities geared towards high school and university students.
“Having young Armenian Americans participate in these programs gives them the inside scoop on the American political process and the importance of public service,” remarked Hovsepian. “Educational and leadership programs such as the ANC-WR Internship-Externship Program in Los Angeles and the ANCA Leo Sarksian Internship Program in Washington, DC are great resources for young Arizonan Armenians to learn more and network with peers sharing their passion,” he added. Demirjian wrapped up the presentation by discussing upcoming initiatives of the Arizona ANC including genocide awareness programs and outreach to the non-Armenian community.
“In the coming months there are going to be even more ways in which Arizonan Armenians can get involved with the ANC of Arizona. We encourage everyone interested in getting more involved to contact us and join us at one of our upcoming committee meetings,” she noted. The ANC of Arizona advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the state’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. It is the voice of this vibrant community which advances and enriches Arizona.