ANCA Interns Discuss Community Concerns With Congressional Leaders

ANCA interns with Rep. Frank Pallone

Reps. Schiff and Pallone Exchange Views with Leo Sarkisian Interns

WASHINGTON–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Armenian Genocide Resolution longtime champion Adam Schiff (D-CA) were among the Congressional leaders the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Leo Sarkisian Interns reached out to last week to learn more about efforts to address key Armenian American concerns on Capitol Hill.

“Meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill and learning first-hand about the opportunities and challenges we face in advancing community concerns is a key part of the LSI summer program,” explained ANCA Legislative Director Raffi Karakashian. “We appreciate that Representatives Pallone and Schiff took the time to discuss initiatives to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia relationship, ensure the right to self-determination for the people of Karabakh, and secure justice for the Armenian Genocide – and, in particular, for their insights into the special role that student leaders play in advancing these efforts.”

ANCA interns with Rep. Adam Schiff

The interns started the week with a meeting with Rep. Adam Schiff, during which they discussed his leadership role in reaffirming the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, and the key role he plays on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations in support of maintaining high levels of U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

“It was a pleasure to meet with a great group of students who are interning for the Armenian National Committee of America this summer, including two of my constituents from Hollywood and Glendale,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). “I commend ANCA for its important role in helping to train the next generation of leaders within the Armenian community.”

Rep. Schiff tweeted and posted a photo on his Facebook page after the meeting.

They later held a meeting with Rep. Pallone, during which the focus of discussion was Azerbaijan’s increased war rhetoric, recent attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and the practical steps that are being taken to challenge the Aliyev regime’s threat to regional stability.

“It was uplifting seeing Rep. Pallone speak so clearly regarding Azerbaijan’s threat to peace and stability in the South Caucasus, and having the opportunity to exchange views on the current geopolitical issues in the region,” commented Armen Sahakyan, a constituent from Morganville, New Jersey. “President Aliyev should be clearly condemned for his attacks against Armenia and Artsakh, as Rep. Pallone has done on repeated occasions.”

ANCA interns with Senator Barbara Boxer

The LSI interns also had the chance to meet briefly with leading Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and her staffer Ariana Reks. In addition, they had a formal meeting with Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) aide, Ryan Sellinger, where they discussed the ANCA Capital Gateway Program and potential job and internship opportunities on Capitol Hill.

The ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program, is an eight week intensive program designed to give students and activists the tools necessary to effectively advance Armenian American concerns on campus and in their local communities. It is an integral part of the ANCA Capital Gateway program, a year-round internship/job placement service, which provides Armenian Americans with greater opportunities to explore careers on Capitol Hill, in the Administration, the media and foreign policy think tanks.

Community members can follow the ANCA interns throughout the next 8-weeks through photos and blog postings on the ANCA Facebook page- facebook.com/ancagrassroots – and on the ANCA (anca.org), Asbarez (asbarez.com) and Armenian Weekly (armenianweekly.com) websites.

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