November 14, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lerna Kayserian
tel: (818) 500-1918

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA PRAISES AMBASSADOR EVANS AND SENATOR MENENDEZ DURING ANCA-WR BANQUET

LOS ANGELES, CA – Joining over 700 of the region’s most respected politicians and Armenian American leaders, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered special remarks to those gathered at the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) Annual Banquet. The 2006 Annual Banquet was held on November 12th at the prestigious Los Angeles Downtown Marriott.

Mayor Villaraigosa, a national leader in American human rights issues, applauded the courage of former Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, who was fired from his post for appropriately recognizing the Armenian Genocide. “We need to remember the events of the Armenian Genocide by fighting the nomination of Richard Hoagland until he acknowledges the Armenian Genocide as fact,” stated the Mayor.

Villaraigosa acknowledged the role of the ANCA as the voice of the Armenian American community on this issue. “The Armenian National Committee continues to reawaken our conscience and remind us of the cruelty that man is capable of inflicting upon his fellow man through their efforts to keep the memory of the Armenian Genocide alive,” noted the Mayor. “They were at the forefront of the campaign to stop the nomination of Richard Hoagland and I am confident the ANC will continue to lead the way. Their effort in blocking the appointment of Ambassador-designate Hoagland is a remarkable achievement and a reminder to all that principles must always come before politics.”

In his remarks, Villaraigosa also referred to the statements made by US Senator Robert Menendez regarding the hold he placed on the US Administration’s nomination of Richard Hoagland to replace Ambassador Evans. “As a leader and defender of democracy, it is our nation’s responsibility to speak out against injustice and support equality and human rights,” stated Senator Menendez following his announcement of the hold earlier this year.

Senator Menendez’s hold remains in place today. To date, the US State Department has failed to address the serious concerns regarding Ambassador Evans’ firing and Hoagland’s responses to questions raised during his nomination hearing. The ANCA has recently called on the Bush Administration to withdraw Hoagland’s nomination and put forth a nominee who will not attempt to re-write history.

The 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.

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