Leaders of the Pasadena Armenian National Committee took California State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-44) on a tour of Armenian American businesses in the City of Pasadena on December 11, 2009 to help the Assemblymember better understand the challenges facing Armenian American business owners in this challenging economy and what actions, if any, the State can take to improve the economy.
It’s a long and tedious drive back from Las Vegas. Darkness has set and the red taillights wind ahead of the car like an unending ribbon twinkling in the night. Inside the car it is anything but quiet or boring. Shahane and Gayane are making a stream of phone calls, remotely trying to complete the layout of the upcoming issue of the college newspaper they co-founded, along with Arpine, four years ago while sophomores at UCLA. “Lets just do a newspaper and have all Armenians – not just UCLA Armenians – write to it and contribute to it and that’s how it started. Very randomly,” Gayane says of the original idea. At the time, she believed that students needed an outlet to express themselves in ways not available to them. “This way, students can write how they felt about our culture and how they felt about being in the Diaspora as students in a very free way without being judged for it.”