Glendale ANC Makes Open Seat Endorsement for April 6 Elections

GLENDALE–After announcing its endorsement for Rafi Manoukian for the April 6 Glendale City Council elections–Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee–following careful consideration of all candidates has announced an open endorsement for the second open city council seat.

"In reviewing the candidates’ past records and their responses to candidate questionnaires–the Glendale ANC strongly recommen’s that the community consider Joe Mandoky–Larry Miller–Gus Gomez and Mike Smith for the second vacant seat in the April 6 Glendale City Council elections," announced Glendale ANC chairman Artin Manougian.

The Glendale ANC–a public advocacy organization serving in Glendale for more than two decades–issued questionnaires to all candidates vying for a seat on the City Council. The recommendations were made based on candidate responses and following meetings with those candidates who requested them from the ANC board.

"These candidates have shown that–if elected–they would work with all members of the community to enhance the potential and way of life in our great city," added the Glendale ANC chairman.

The Glendale ANC announced its endorsement of Rafi Manoukian on March 19–and reserved the announcement for the second seat to carefully consider the outcome of meetings and responses on candidate questionnaires.

City Council candidate Bob Yousefian was not considered since he asked the ANC not to consider him for an endorsement.

"I would like to thank you for considering me for your endorsement process. But we have made a policy of not seeking endorsemen’s from the News Press and other organizations–and would like to maintain the same position," said Yousefian in a note to the ANC on his questionnaire. In a cordial meeting with Yousefian in early February–the candidate shared this position with the Glendale ANC board.

The questionnaire was designed to gauge candidates’ opinion on increasing Armenian-American participation in Glendale city government and measures to improve relations between new immigrant populations and long-time Glendale residents–as well as their views on the role of city government and law enforcement on prevention of youth violence and crime.

Of the 13 questionnaires–nine were returned to the Glendale ANC by the March 12 deadline–with no responses submitted following the said date.

Below are excerpts of responses the ANC received from the aforementioned recommended candidates:

Joe Mandoky

"I believe city government should reflect the ethnic make-up of its community. I will place on commissions and committees concerned members of our community–including Armenia’s. I believe our city should be directed by residents who live and work in our community and care to improve it."

"I will promote our churches–scouts–sports and art groups to do joint programs. Neighborhood street parties and pot-lucks."

"We need…. youth work and training programs to help our youth get jobs and earn money… These can be funded with city–state and federal funds. Youth can clean our parks–schools–plant trees. help seniors–learn police–fire–mechanical and other skills."

Larry Miller

"Understanding and respecting the diversity of our various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. I understand the difficulty that Armenia’s from different countries face in the process of adapting and adopting the new culture and social environment in the United States. I world with the younger generation such as Boy Scout troop to eliminate conflicts at he beginning and promote problem solving efforts throughout the community."

"[I propose to] Create an informal–permanent advisory body consisting of well respected Armenian-Americans and long-time Glendale residents to be a resource to this council member as a means of gathering information–reaching out to all residents and act as an advisory body in the decision making process. This body must have continuous dialogue and interact in a friendly and problem solving atmosphere."

Gus Gomez

"The city’s diversity is an asset to our community. We can promote cultural understanding in many ways–including working with our schools to encourage youth and parental involvement. I support efforts by the Glendale Human Relations Coalition to promote cultural understanding through ‘forums’ or programs that bring together the many cultures in our community."

"To deal with you crime and violence–I factor increasing the number of resource officers in our schools–which requires the continued cooperation between the city and the school district. We also need more after-school programs and activities to keep our kids away from drugs and gangs."

Mike Smith

"Glendale’s government has numerous task force–committees and commissions that advise our city departmen’s and government in the formation of the policies that shape Glendale’s future. I would recommend and support the inclusion–in our policy-making authorities–especially among our youth and elderly–those groups and individuals most qualified and familiar with the specific challenges facing every sector of Glendale’s citizenry."

"We must start with the youth. Years ago–the city funded a neighborhood outreach program called the ‘Community Forums…." I participated in that program and met people from every ethnic community in Glendale. What an eye-opener. If that program was available to more people–I think it could go far in improving relations among all of Glendale’s residents. I will do all I can to see that it returns in full force."

Note: Recommended candidates are not listed in order of preference.

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