Phoenix, AZ – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) continued to reach out to Armenian communities across the Western United States by traveling to Phoenix, Arizona on the weekend of 25-26. ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian and Government Relations Director Armen Carapetian met with ANC activists from the Arizona Armenian community and briefed community members on the importance of the upcoming November elections. Their visit to the Grand Canyon State was highlighted by an ANC workshop they held with community leaders and activists and their participation in various community events, including a dance at the local church hall and a community picnic which was attended by over one hundred Armenian Americans living in Arizona.
“The Armenian American community in Arizona is growing and prospering,” commented Kassakhian after his two-day trip. “The increasing political awareness of Armenian Americans in Arizona impressed us. Clearly, the ANC of Arizona is going to play an important role in a state with eight Members of the House and two very important U.S. Senators,” Kassakhian added.
ANCA-WR staff spent the weekend in Arizona and collected signatures from community members for a petition addressed to Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) who serves as the Chairman of the influential Congressional Subcommittee on Foreign Operations Appropriations. The petitions urged Congressman Kolbe to maintain language in the Fiscal Year 2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill authored by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) which prohibits Turkey from using any U.S. foreign aid money to lobby against official U.S. acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.
Over 100 signatures in support of the Kolbe petition were collected at a community picnic which was organized and hosted by the Arizona chapter of the Armenian Relief Society. At the gathering, ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian gave the community a summary of the priorities that the ANCA continues to work on in Washington, DC and in the Western Region, including passage of a genocide resolution and of a bill to provide normal trade relations between the United States and Armenia.