BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Past events perforce drive us to review the outcome in the 43rd State Assembly District of the California Primary election held June 7. This is the district in which Ardy Kassakhian, with 24.28% of the vote, is in second place behind Laura Friedman, with 31.94% of the vote (figures as of June 30).
Paucity is the only way to describe the condition of Armenian candidates who made it past the primary. Other than incumbent Adrin Nazarian, only Kassakhian made it; not Achadjian for Congress; not Najarian for Supervisor; not the two judicial candidates in LA County; and certainly not the two highly unlikely candidates, Chahinian and Topalian.
Pride should now drive us to coalesce around Ardashes and put all our efforts into assuring his win in the November General Election.
Population – look at the district and you’ll see that with Glendale, Hollywood, Burbank, and the Crescenta Valley, the 43rd is THE Armenian district. None should begrudge a community such as ours this district.
Participation is what it will take. While Armenian voter turnout seems to have been respectable in some areas, in others it was poor (more on this in the future). But it’s not only voting on election day or by mail that’s needed. Your time, precious time, is what will carry the day in November. You must put in some time volunteering with the Kassakhian campaign.
Pots-of-money are also necessary. Paltry, relative pennies are OUT. Anyone able should contribute the maximum allowed $4200. Everyone else should give as much as they possibly can. Remember, outside money FROM JUST ONE SOURCE, to the tune of almost $1.5 million poured into the race to help Friedman. She and Ardy TOGETHER spent barely that much from their own campaign ccoffers!
Predatory practices preempt propriety for some political actors in the district. There’s a long history of this, which many of you already know. Any sense of proportion is perverted by the lust for poaching this elected office from our community.
Perfidy is a good way to describe the misleading, deceptive propaganda campaign that maligned Ardy. Plotters pandered to people’s incompletely-informed political proclivities
Poisonous mailers and TV ads played a key role in this outcome. But so did complacency. Many Kassakhian supporters just assumed he had an assured first place showing and didn’t contribute, volunteer, and vote enough.
Puerile preening with phony, pushy, pride is not the point here. Proper, proportional, representation of our community is. Who would argue that a Jewish candidate is the more likely person who should be elected from parts of LA’s west side or San Fernando Valley or Brooklyn? Who would disagree with having Irish electeds from many parts of Boston? How about Black electeds from Harlem? Any other outcomes without the agreement of those communities is pernicious and suppresses their political flowering. Why should Armenians be treated any differently?
Prepare, in September, the campaign will kick into high gear. To get ready, you’ll be out raising money for the Kassakhian campaign throughout the Summer. When Labor Day arrives, if you care about Armenian political progress which can translate into many benefits for our communities and cause, then you’ll follow the suggestions made above and dive into a two-month period of intense activity.