Van Nuys, CA – On Wednesday, February 20, 2008, a delegation from the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region met with Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA-28). Congressman Berman serves as Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) following the unfortunate passing of Chairman Congressman Tom Lantos, who recently succumbed to esophageal cancer. Those in attendance included ANCA-WR Board Members Steve Dadaian, Vicken Sonentz-Papazian, Avo Ovayan and Congressman Howard Berman.
“We always welcome the opportunity to engage in a meaningful exchange of information and ideas with the acting and future Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” stated Dadaian. “During our meeting it was clear that Congressman Berman shares our optimistic outlook for advancing issues of concern to the Armenian American community and we look forward to working closely with him to accomplish that task,” he added.
During the meeting, the ANCA-WR delegation discussed various issues of concern to the community with Congressman Berman. In particular, Congressman Berman reiterated his support for the passage of H. Res. 106 and for increasing aid to Armenia, especially vis-à-vis petrodollar rich and warmongering Azerbaijan. The meeting participants also noted Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence and how comparatively, Nagorno-Karabakh also enjoys a strong case for self-determination.
Berman represents northern areas of Hollywood, the eastern half of the San Fernando Valley and the city of San Fernando. In 2007, Berman served as a strong supporter of H. Res. 106, authoring a powerful dear colleague letter espousing the Armenian Genocide resolution. The letter discussed the classification of the Armenian Genocide as historically accurate by the International Association of Genocide Scholars and called for Turkey to recognize this crime against humanity. On October 10, 2007, the HCFA passed H. Res. 106 by a vote of 27-21, including supportive remarks by then-second ranking Democrat Berman.
Berman has served in the House of Representatives since 1983 representing the 28th Congressional district of California. Born in Los Angeles and educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Berman was a lawyer and a member of the California State Assembly from 1972-1983.
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.
Photo Caption: Congressman Berman meets with ANCA-WR and ANC of East San Fernando Valley Representatives in August 2007.