LOS ANGELES–National, regional, and local leaders and supporters of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) are sponsoring a major fundraiser in Beverly Hills for Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.
The event will be held on March 30, at the home of noted Los Angeles businessman Ron Burkle, and will feature a concert by James Taylor, and remarks by former Secretary of State William Christopher. ANCA supporters are among the leading contributors of the event, expected to raise over half a million dollars for the Kerry campaign.
“We have been encouraged by the enthusiastic outpouring of support for the Senator and the growing interest in his campaign from all segments of the Armenian American community,” said ANCA-Western Region Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “We have, for more than two decades, known of Senator Kerry’s principled leadership on issues of concern to our community, and look forward to doing all we can to share his excellent record with Armenian American voters in the weeks and months before the November 2 election.”
During his long tenure in the US House and Senate, Senator Kerry has consistently been a leading advocate of issues of concern to Armenian Americans. As a US Senator, Kerry has forcefully fought for US recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and is currently a cosponsor of the Genocide Resolution, S.Res.164. In 1990, Senator Kerry voted on the Senate floor for Senator Bob Dole’s (R-KS) Genocide Resolution.
Meeting with ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian and ANC activist Mihran Toumajan last September, the Senator acknowledged the support of many Armenian Americans during his political career. Specifically referencing the Armenian Genocide, the Senator spoke of the Genocide Resolution, and promised continued advocacy. “It is called justice, and we will get there together,” pledged Senator Kerry. “I was incensed when the Turkish lobby and its allies disrupted the bill in the Senate before,” Kerry added, referring to the 1990 vote on Sen. Dole’s Genocide Resolution.
The Massachusetts Senator has been a vocal and effective champion of stronger US-Armenia relations and has consistently backed legislative initiative to increase aid and expand trade with Armenia. He is currently a cosponsor of legislation, S.1557, which would grant Armenia permanent normal trade relations status.
Senator Kerry has spearheaded a number of initiatives to lift the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades. In 1991, he was the lead sponsor of a piece of legislation, that was later enacted as Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, restricting US aid to the government of Azerbaijan until its blockades of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh are lifted. He also worked for the adoption of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which called for US aid to Turkey to be cut off unless Turkey lifted its blockade of Armenia. As recently as this January, Senator Kerry formally called on President Bush to press the visiting Prime Minister of Turkey to lift his nation’s illegal blockade of Armenia.
First elected in 1984 from Massachusetts, Sen. Kerry is currently serving a fourth term in the US Senate, where he represents one of the largest Armenian American communities. He serves on the Senate Finance Committee, the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Subcommittee on Central Asia and South Caucasus.
For two differing perspectives on the Bush Administration’s record on Armenian American issues, visit: