For Immediate Release
Contact: Elen Asatryan
tel: (818) 500-1918
U.S. Senate Candidate Kamala Harris Discusses Armenian Issues With Pivotal Voting Block
Reaffirms her commitment to proper recognition and resolution for the Armenian Genocide during meeting with Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region
LOS ANGELES – Leaders and members of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) recently met with California Attorney General Kamala Harris as her campaign for U.S. Senate kicks into high gear. The Armenian voting block is poised to play a pivotal role in the upcoming U.S. Senate race. The meeting provided Harris the opportunity to better familiarize herself with the work of the ANCA and issues important to the Armenian community, while allowing the organization to share its priorities and vision for justice, peace, and prosperity in the region.
The Jan. 16, 2015 Sacramento Bee editorial, “Why Glendale matters in race to replace Boxer,” addresses the significant impact Armenians can have on statewide election outcomes due to their large number of absentee voters. “If you’re handicapping the race to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate in 2016, factor in Armenian Americans of Glendale,” wrote Dan Morain, of the Sacramento Bee.
“I had a wonderful time meeting with the leadership of ANCA-Western Region and Southern California leaders involved with the organization, just as I’ve enjoyed our dialogue over the years. I will continue to stand with the Armenian community in the Senate in pursuing proper recognition and resolution for the Armenian Genocide – one of humanity’s darkest chapters, just as I have as a prosecutor and California’s Attorney General. I look forward to many more conversations about how we can make a difference for all our families and get real results for our people, and issues critical to the Armenian-American community as we continue our fight against civil and human rights violations,” stated Harris.
ANCA and ANCA WR leaders discussed with Harris issues of national concern to the community, including the Royce-Engel letter calling on peace in the region, establishing a sound trade agreement between the U.S. and Armenia and Azerbaijan’s increasing aggression towards the Republic of Artaskh. The Attorney General sympathized with the Armenian community’s struggle to gain justice for the families of Armenian Genocide survivors and agreed that it is of utmost importance to educate the youth and future generations of the consequences of genocide and human rights violations.
“We’d like to thank Attorney General Harris for taking the time to become better acquainted with the ANCA and the vibrant Armenian-American community of California,” stated ANCA-WR Nora Hovsepian. “We appreciate her understanding of communities that have experienced delayed justice and are encouraged by her strong background in civil rights activism. We wish the Attorney General much success in her bid for U.S. Senate and look forward to building upon our relationship in the months and years ahead,” she added.
Joining the meeting were delegates from the 43rd Assembly District, who briefly discussed the Democratic convention taking place in February and her bid for the U.S. Senate. The delegates took the opportunity to describe their party involvement as well as their occupational interests, while ANCA leaders noted that the beauty of the ANCA lies in its diverse grassroots membership who come from all walks of life, backgrounds and party affiliations – making it the largest and most influential Armenian-American advocacy organization.
Harris is the current Attorney General of California and was first elected in 2010. On January 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the 32nd Attorney General of the State of California. The ANCA-Western Region endorsed Harris during her 2014 re-election campaign, which she won on November 4, 2014. She is the first woman, the first African American, and the first South Asian to hold the office in the history of California.
In 2012 Harris filed an amicus brief that supported California law that protects the property rights of Armenian Americans who were denied life insurance benefits during and after the Armenian Genocide. The brief was filed after an unfavorable ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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.
Left to Right
Raffi Hamparian, ANCA National Board Member, Tereza Yerimyan, ANCA-WR Government Affairs Director, Berdj Karapetian, ANCA-WR Advisory Board Member, Nora Hovsepian, ANCA-WR Chair, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Michael Mahdesian, ANCA-WR Advisory Board Member, Arpie Jivalagian, ANCA-WR Board Member, Levon Kirakosian, ANCA-WR Advisory Board Member, Steven Dadaian, ANCA-WR National Board Member, Elen Asatryan, ANCA-WR Executive Director