NORA Establishes Los Angeles Chapter

*Hrair Leon and Louisa Bedrosian named co-chairs.

BEVERLY HILLS–The National Organization of Republican Armenia’s held it’s inaugural Los Angeles Chapter meeting this past week–where two active Republican Armenian Americans–Hrair Leon and Louisa Bedrosian emerged as co-chairs.

Also present at the initial meeting were Ara Bedrosian–member of the National Board of Directors; Haik Bartoumian–California Student Coordinator; along with other members of the newly formed Los Angeles chapter of NORA. Projects and activities proposed at the meeting included periodic visitations with Republican elected officials and candidates–the preparation of issue papers–the sponsorship of informal roundtable discussions and the production of a program about politics for local Armenian American television.

In addition–the Los Angeles chapter of NORA will be heavily involved in the year 2000 elections and has already pledged its participation in several Republican initiatives designed to increase voter-education–awareness and registration.

In addressing the gathering–co-chairs Leon and Bedrosian pledged to serve the Republican Party and Armenian communities throughout the County. Co-chair Leon was hopeful that–with its new Los Angeles Chapter in place–NORA will soon emerge to be an integral part of the political spectrum in Los Angeles County politics.

"We are excited about our new Los Angeles chapter and feel is an important step in educating and mobilizing our community," said National Board of Directors member–Ara Bedrosian.

"NORA is dedicated to serving both the Armenian community by educating Republicans about the issues that matter most to Armenian Americans and–in turn–educating the community about what the Republican Party stands for," concluded Bedrosian. California Student Coordinator–Haik Bartoumian remarked–"the LA chapter is an excellent vehicle to increase our participation in Republican Party life. We have high expectations for this newest branch of NORA."

Meanwhile in Richmond–Va.–NORA Chairperson Melanie Kerneklian–an active Armenian-American Republican in Virginia–was re-appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore (Va.) to the Governor’s Commission on National and Community Service and named Chairperson for the Virginia Federation of Republican Women’s Club State Convention in 2000.

After her re-appointment Kerneklian was elected as chairperson of the commission–which will allow her to travel throughout the country representing the Governor at various events and conferences. Kerneklian was first appointed to the Commission by former Governor Allen three years ago. She has been tremendously involved in State affairs and has played a decisive role in many Republican elections–including the gubernatorial race of Jim Gilmore.

The Governor’s commission on National and Community Service overseas programs including AmeriCorps–Learn and Serve–numerous volunteer programs–and is partners with the Peace Corps and the Points of Light Foundation. Recently Kerneklian presided over the distribution of more than a million dollars in gran’s to numerous volunteer programs in Virginia.

As a delegate to the Virginia Federation of Republicans Women’s Club State Convention–Kerneklian was elected as Chair for the upcoming year 2000 convention.

Kerneklian also plays an active role as NORA Chairperson in the Armenian-American community. During this year’s Genocide Commemoration on April 24 at the St. James Church in Richmond–Kerneklian introduced keynote speaker former Governor of Virginia George Allen–who has since announced his bid for US Senate.

Since its inception–NORA has worked to expand the Republican party’s outreach to the Armenian American community and to encourage Armenia’s to become involved in shaping and advancing the Republican agenda at the local–state–and national levels. Those interested in learning more about the National Organization of Republican Armenia’s or participating in its activities are encouraged to call Louisa Bedrosian or Hrair Leon at (818) 645-3258–or by e-mail at nora_dc@earthlink.net. NORA Member

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