CARSON CITY, Nevada – On March 21 and 22, 2019 the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) and ANCA-Nevada hosted Carson City advocacy days to promote the views and interests of the Silver State’s 20,000-strong Armenian American constituency, majority of whom reside in the Las Vegas area.
“The Armenian community of Nevada has truly become a political force to reckon with,” remarked ANCA-WR Board Member Sako Berberian. “And we wholeheartedly appreciate the hard work of our grassroots leaders in recruiting support for Armenian Genocide education and for Artsakh – one of the twin states of the Armenian homeland – during the Carson City Advocacy Days and throughout the year.”
Led by ANCA-Nevada co-chairs Hera Armenian, Esq. and Lenna Hovanessian, Esq, a few dozen meetings were held with elected officials, including Governor Steve Sisolak, to discuss the importance of Armenian Genocide education, among other issues. During the meeting with Governor Sisolak, Armenian and Hovanessian, joined by ANCA-WR Board Member Sako Berberian, Government Relations Coordinator Serob Abrahamian, Community Development Coordinator Simon Maghakyan, as well as University of Nevada Las Vegas Political Scientists Nerses Kopalyan and Rafael Oganesyan, discussed the importance of teaching the Armenian Genocide to schoolchildren across Nevada.
“The Armenian Advocacy Days in Nevada’s capital Carson City were a tremendous success,” remarked ANCA-Nevada co-chairs Hera Armenian, Esq. and Lenna Hovanessian, Esq. “We held a productive and informative meeting with Governor Steve Sisolak, who has been staunchly supportive of our community, as attested to by his approval of the 2015 Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument in Las Vegas when he served as Chair of the Clark County Commission,” continued the co-chairs. “Our discussions with the Governor, Assembly and Senate members allowed us to educate our elected officials about the Armenian Genocide, genocide education, the plight of our compatriots in Artsakh, as well as the recent Velvet Revolution in Armenia that transformed our ancestral homeland to a shining star of democracy.”
On Thursday and Friday, ANCA representatives and Armenian constituents were introduced on the floor of the Nevada State Senate by Sen. Dallas Harris. Due to the high number of legislative meetings, the ANCA delegation was divided into two groups to meet with state lawmakers. The ANCA delegation received warm reception from all lawmakers, particularly Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod and Senator James Ohrenschall, who shared examples of their strong record on human rights. On Friday, during lunchtime, the ANCA delegation served Armenian desserts in a large meeting room, during which a short documentary on the Near East Relief was shown. In addition to lawmakers, several dozen staff members and interns stopped by to enjoy desserts and further interact with the Armenian delegation.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.