ANCA-WR Meets With Waxman, Colorado Congressmen

GLENDALE–Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region recent met with California Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman and held meetings with Colorado representatives Tom Tancredo (R), Diana DeGette (D), and Mark Udall (D). ANCA-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian was joined by Waxman’s 30th District constituents Ara Khachatourian and Alice Mouradian Meeting attendees thanked the Congressman for his support of key legislation, including H.Res.316, a resolution commemorating the Armenian Genocide, and H.R.3361, a bill that prevents the United States from financing railway projects that would intentionally bypass Armenia. During the meeting, Rep. Waxman was updated on the firing of former US Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, as well as the controversy surrounding the US Administration’s nominee, Richard Hoagland, to replace him. The Congressman was briefed on the lack of explanation by the State Department regarding the reasons for Ambassador Evans’ dismissal and was asked that he and his colleagues investigate the matter further. "We were glad to meet with the Congressman and take the opportunity to express our concerns," noted Hovsepian. "We look forward to working with him to address these concerns as we continue to build a strong relationship between the Congressman and the community." The meeting with Rep. Waxman comes at the end of a three-month effort by the ANCA-WR–in collaboration with its local chapters–to expand relations between the Armenian American communities and their elected officials at a federal level. Since July, the ANCA-WR has met with over 30 members of Congress throughout the western region, including members from Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Texas, and Washington. Hovsepian joined members of the Colorado Armenian-American community for the meetings with the Colorado representatives. The meetings began in Centennial, Colorado, where Hovsepian and long-time Colorado resident Ken Allikian briefed Rep. Tancredo’s staff on Armenian Genocide-related legislation and efforts by the Azeri government to inhibit regional cooperation. Hovsepian and Allikian then visited the Denver district office of Congresswoman DeGette, where they thanked her for her support of H.Res.316 and discussed H.R.3361, encouraging the Congresswoman to become a co-sponsor. Rep. DeGette expressed dismay in the firing of Ambassador Evans and the lack of an appropriate explanation to date by the State Department. Garo Chalian and Kim Christianian joined Allikian and Hovsepian for the final meeting of the day with Rep. Udall’s staff. Meeting attendees thanked Rep. Udall for his co-sponsorship of key pieces of legislation supporting Armenia and addressed questions regarding the need to have Turkey address its past as a prerequisite to truly join the civilized world and begin a process by which good neighborly relations can be developed. Allikian, Chalian, and Christianian are members of the "Armenia’s of Colorado", a community group established in 1982, whose purpose is to nourish a cohesive Armenian community to further the understanding of Armenian history, culture, religion, language and heritage. "It was a pleasure to work with Ken, Kim, and Garo," said Hovsepian. "The Armenia’s of Colorado are doing admirable work to raise awareness about the Armenian American community in Colorado and we are glad to have working partnership in reaching out to members of Congress. We look forward to working with them to continue these efforts." The ANCA is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues


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