Bay Area ANC Hosts Gathering for Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi was the guest of honor at a campaign fundraising reception hosted by the San Francisco-Bay Area Armenian Committee on Friday–October 23–1998. More than 80 members attended the reception honoring Congresswoman Pelosi–thanking her for her leadership on issues important to the Armenian-American community and for her principled positions regarding US policy towards the Caucasus. In addition to representatives of various community organizations–present were also the [priests from three Armenia’s churches–the principal and students of KZV Armenian School and Bay Area Homenetmen’scouts.

In her introduction–ANC member Gohar Momjian cited Congresswoman Pelosi’s recent support for maintaining the ban on US aid to Azerbaijan. "More important than just her vote–Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi spoke out actively voicing her beliefs during the intense 2 1/2 hour debate on the house floor. Her leadership on this (Section 907) issue never failed. She argued strongly and with conviction…and did not let her Armenian-American community down."

In her remarks–Nancy Pelosi stressed the importance of the direct role the ANC and the Armenian-American constituency plays in its constant communication with her office. "We won by 49 votes–people thought we’d lose–the reason we won is because of you–because of your grassroots participation–education of members–and because of the clear case you make to us because it is in the interest of the United States to have principled policy towards Armenia." said Nancy Pelosi.

On September 17–of this year–in the US Congress–the House of Representatives voted to retain Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This provision continues the ban on aid to the Azeri Government into 1999–until it lifts its inhumane blockades of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Congresswoman Pelosi responded to the powerful opposing groups that were aligned with Azeri interested. During the reception–guests were treated to videotape excerpts of Pelosi’s speech in the House. In her response to the accusations that Section 907 creates and imbalance in the region–she made clear that the balance was very simple–"remove the inhumane blockade–then we remove 907."

Nancy Pelosi’s presentation enthralled the group of young and old with her enthusiasm and sense of justice on this issue. She questioned the involvement of the Jewish American organizations in their opposition–criticized the US oil lobbyists for their economic argumen’s and neglect for human rights and reprimanded the influence Turkey plays in the Administration’s discriminatory position. Congresswoman Pelosi stated that the ANC’s list of principles as to what should happen in the region are consistent with national interests of the United States–"We want to do everything we can to have peace with justice in the region and respect for political integrity of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia…"

Before her departure–Nancy Pelosi reiterated that the Armenian-American community must continue its education of House members and that they can not take anything for granted. "We can maneuver all we want in the House–but can not succeed without your mobilization… You give ammunition–inspiration and courage to us to fight on your behalf."

The evening ended with the ANC recommending to all those present and their friends and family to vote for Nancy Pelosi on November 3.

The ANC SF-Bay Area has been actively participating in various local and Congressional campaign events for San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Amos Brown–for Senator Barbara Boxer–and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.

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