Power. Respect. Influence.

795pxus_capitol_building_at_night_jan_2006Three words that mean a lot:

Power. Respect. Influence.

You deserve them.

Armenia needs them.

But they don’t come free.

Especially in Washington, DC.

Some, like Turkey, just buy their power, or – more accurately – rent it in the form of high-priced hired guns, like Bob Livingston and Dick Gephardt, influence peddlers who have racked up tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees.

As Armenian American advocates, we haven’t had the resources yet to play in that league, and I’m not sure that it would make sense to “outsource” the Armenian Cause even if we did. It’s always better for us to speak in our own name.

For us, the path to power has never been quite as easy as simply writing a big check.

No. We’ve taken a longer route, in the best tradition of American democracy, building our reputation on grassroots activism, professional advocacy, and decades of hard work.

We have, during our journey, been blessed by the commitment of an Armenian American community that cares deeply about the Armenian Cause. The proud ethic of service and selfless love of justice that has been instilled in each new generation represent a great tribute to our families, our churches, and youth groups.

We have, as well, been fortunate to have a community supporting us that has a sophisticated understanding of the challenges we face and a real-world appreciation of the practical steps we need to take within the American political process to address and overcome these obstacles to our shared aims.

And, most importantly, we benefit tremendously from a community that has faith. An abiding faith in ourselves, in our cause, and in our power to work together as a team to build a brighter future for the Armenian nation.

That’s a great combination: Commitment. Knowledge. Faith

They serve as the ANCA Endowment’s foundation, the inspiration for our 2009 Telethon, and our guide for the future. Driven by these values, and empowered by your financial support, we are taking the Armenian Cause to new levels of power, respect and influence, by:

* Assisting a new wave of young Armenian Americans start careers in government, foreign policy, and the media.

* Dramatically increasing Armenian American grassroots civic participation, as informed voters and effective community activists.

* Generating expanded U.S. and international media coverage of Armenian issues, from CNN to the front pages of the New York Times.

* Using technology, new media, and social networking to help Armenian Americans from across the country work together as a team

Each and every dollar you give to the ANCA Endowment represents a personal vote of confidence in our ability to deliver real results in each these areas, and more. Your financial support empowers us to be more effective at:

* Promoting broader American public awareness of the Armenian Genocide through schools, coalitions, and the media.

* Educating Americans about Armenia and the importance of mutually beneficial U.S.-Armenia economic ties.

* Explaining the history, legal rights, and democratic aspirations of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to public officials and journalists.

In each of these areas we are facing new and increasingly powerful opposition. On every front Turkey and Azerbaijan are pushing back hard, as are their allies here in Washington.

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