Members of Congress to Serve as Honorary Chairs for ANC-WR Banquet

Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America Moushegh Mardirossian (left) joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at ANC-WR 2007 Banquet.

LOS ANGELES–The Armenian National Committee-Western Region reported Tuesday that a number of prominent Legislators and Armenian American Officials will be serving as Honorary Chairs for the ANC-WR 24th Annual Banquet. The ANC-WR’s Annual Banquet will be held on October 12, 2008, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Members of Congress serving as Honorary Chairs for the ANC-WR Annual Banquet include Representatives Adam Schiff, George Radanovich, Ed Royce and Jackie Speier. Honorary Chairs also include State Senator Jack Scott, Assemblymembers Anthony Portantino and Paul Krekorian and Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug and Janice Kamenir-Reznik of Jewish World Watch. Furthermore, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America Moushegh Mardirossian will serve as an Honorary Chair.

"With great pride, I share in the efforts of the 2008 ANC-WR Annual Banquet to highlight the great strides and accomplishmen’s of the Western Region," said Archbishop Mardirossian. "The ANC-WR offers a gateway to activism through a wide variety of public programs and grassroots efforts," he added.

Congressman Adam Schiff has provided strong leadership on issues of concern to Armenian Americans. Representative Schiff introduced H. Res. 106 [the Armenian Genocide Resolution] on January 30, 2007. The bill was passed with a vote of 27-21 in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. It now awaits a full House vote.

Congressman George Radanovich played a key role in 2000 when an Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.R. 398, nearly reached a floor vote but was pulled off at the last minute due to pressure from the Clinton Administration. Congressman Radanovich is the co-author with Congressman Adam Schiff of H. Res. 106 and has remained steadfast in his support of Armenian American issues.

Congressman Ed Royce has been a long time advocate for human rights and member of the Armenian Caucus. Rep. Royce has been a leading cosponsor of Armenian Genocide legislation throughout his years in Congress. In addition to cosponsoring the Genocide bill, Congressman Royce regularly participates in Armenian community events within his district. In 2005, the Orange County ANC awarded Rep. Royce the prestigious "Freedom Award."

Armenian American Jackie Kanchelian Speier was elected to Congress on April 8. Speier has been active on Armenian American issues throughout her years in the California state legislature. During her tenure in Sacramento, she authored 16 bills related to Armenian issues. Every year thereafter, she co-sponsored the resolution commemorating the Armenian Genocide, including the 2005 bill that made the commemoration permanent law.

"The ANC-WR is honored that Members of Congress will be serving as Honorary Chairs for our banquet," commented ANC-WR Board Member Aida Dimejian. "We look forward to the success of this year’s banquet due in large part to the support from our friends in the U.S. House of Representatives," she added.

Individuals interested in attending the ANC-Western Region banquet are encouraged to contact ANC-WR Program Coordinator Teresa Petrosyan at (818) 500-1918. The banquet is slated to begin at 3:30 pm with a cocktail hour and the formal program beginning at 5:30 pm. Organizers of this event expect that it will be sold out well before September 15.

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