Baku Pogrom Survivor Liyah Babayan Announces Bid for Twin Falls City Council in Idaho

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Liyah Babayan

Liyah Babayan

TWIN FALLS CITY, Idaho – Armenian-American businesswoman and community leader Liyah Babayan is running for the Twin Falls City Council, reports the Idaho Chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“After serious thought, prayer and the blessing of my family, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Twin Falls City Council and respectfully ask for your vote this November 7th to represent #ThePeopleFirst as your next City Councilwoman,” remarked Babayan in an announcement to her supporters.  “I accept with grace the opportunity to give back to the city and country that gave my family a second chance at life.”

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Babayan survived the 1990 pogrom and massacre against Christian Armenians, eventually finding refuge with her family in the US state of Idaho, where she has become a respected small business owner, School Board member, and ANCA activist.

“It is a great pleasure to see young Armenian-Americans, especially survivors of anti-Christian pogroms in Azerbaijan, run for public office in the United States of America,” remarked ANCA Western Region chair Nora Hovsepian. “Liyah’s commitment to civic engagement and justice was best illustrated last year when she led the grassroots pressure that compelled the withdrawing of an absurd resolution in the Idaho legislature, prompting MagicValley.com’s February 18, 2016 headline, ‘Armenian Lobbying Group Kills Idaho Resolution Praising Azerbaijan.’ We wish Liyah best of luck and call on the Armenian-American community to support her noble pursuit of representing the hardworking people of Twin Falls, Idaho on the City Council,” continued Hovsepian.

Donations to Babayan’s campaign can be made online. For details about her campaign, visit www.liyahbabayan.com.

The full text of her biography from LiyahBabayan.com is below:

Local small business owner Liyah Babayan is most known for her hyper-local influence and leadership. Surviving religious persecution and ethnic killings, her family arrived in Twin Falls as refugees when she was ten years old. Liyah watched her educated parents tirelessly work two full time jobs each, lowest paying, entry level to rebuild their life in the United States from absolutely nothing. Homelessness and extreme poverty is a reality Liyah understands first hand, as her family experienced both. To help her family out, Liyah started working at the age of 13 until she graduated from Twin Falls High School. This work ethic became the guiding principle of her life.

Liyah studied military and political science at Southern Oregon University and History at College of Southern Idaho. From a young age she loved the hustle and free market spirit of the American Dream. An entrepreneur at heart, at 22 years old Liyah took a leap of faith. Launching her business Ooh La La Boutique, during the peak of the Great Recession, cultivated her resourcefulness and smart budgeting practices. She knows the important role small business plays in the local economy and personally understands how government can support these leaders to succeed or slow progress with excessive and overreaching regulations. Under Liyah’s direction, Ooh La La became a platform for empowerment in the Magic Valley by raising awareness and resources for various groups. Liyah shares the value of compassionate response throughout our community, addressing various causes dear to her including elderly neglect, cycle of poverty, childhood food insecurity, addiction recovery, and cultural integration of refugees.

Volunteering on various city and civic commissions, Liyah asks the difficult questions and takes a courageous stand on issues affecting the residents of Twin Falls. As a community leader she served three years as our School Board of Trustee, working on budgeting, building schools, and hiring a superintendent. Her leadership style is transparent, bold, and accountable. As a mother, she understands parents and the concern for their children to grow up in a safe and healthy community. Liyah delivers a unique voice and perspective to strategic plans, policy, and decision making. There is a huge difference between being elected and getting things done. Liyah Babayan gets things done! Service to community is the consistent theme of her professional career for the last ten years in the Magic Valley. Representing ‘The People First’ is Liyah’s number one priority as she advocates for a more transparent, inclusive, and responsible local government!

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