BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Greg Krikorian is running for a seat in the California legislature. If elected, he would represent the 43rd State Assembly District. This district houses the largest Armenian population (recent immigrants, citizens, and registered voters) of any jurisdiction in the whole United States. If an Armenian is going to be elected anywhere, it’s here. More importantly, whether an Armenian or other qualified person gets elected or not is something that the Armenian community should have significant, if not definitive, say in.
Yet, that hasn’t been the case. Why that is so is a long story, that’s been told already, and will probably be retold. Right now, it’s more important to understand why Greg is the best candidate at this time for this district. The reasons are many. Equally significant is the fatally flawed nature of his opponent. But even those are stories for another day.
The first order of business is creating awareness among members of our community about the importance of this election so that everyone eligible gets registered to vote (go to www.hyevotes.org), gets their friends and neighbors to do the same, and votes in the November 6 election— in person or ahead of time by mail. Next, we must all come to recognize the opportunity we have to elect a very qualified child of our community to an important public office where he can bring progress to all concerned and honor to our community. We have to recognize that Greg Krikorian is that opportunity.
I’ve known Greg for some thirty years. Perhaps more than any other non-family member in the district, I know his strengths and weaknesses. I can unreservedly say, “he’s the right guy for this job”, “he’s the one to vote for”.
Greg is tireless. Whether as an AYF member when we first met, as a current member of the Glendale School Board, or anything else he’s done along the way (from ANCA Burbank to the Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts to AYSO soccer, or service clubs) his energy is boundless. And you might have noticed, all of these are time consuming expressions of service to community and to others in the various places he has resided— Hartford, New York, Detroit, and his final home of Glendale.
Now, Greg, with a lot of encouragement and support from various people and organizations, has chosen to harness that boundless energy to serve the 43rd Assembly district. He brings a dozen years of experience as a school board member. These years were very difficult one for schools across state, so he has been well tested, and that experience will serve him, the State Assembly, and most of all the millions of students in California, very well. He also brings an acute awareness of what small businesses need since he works in a family publishing and marketing firm.
Moving from background to platform, Greg’s proposes to build sensible, sustainable policies that will enable private and public sector contribution to expanding California’s economy. In particular, he will focus on reinvesting in education at all levels, from kindergarten to universities.
No candidate is perfect, and some may argue “well, what about…?” In the Armenian community, I suspect the biggest underlying concern on people’s minds will be “but I’m a Democrat, how can I vote for a Republican?” Setting aside other factors, and please be aware that I, too, am a Democrat, it’s time to say “fair’s fair” and vote for Greg. Why? Consider that over the past two decades, the lion’s share of candidates most amenable to our communities’ needs and concerns (whether the individuals were themselves Armenian or not) have tended to be Democrats. We have loudly insisted that our Republican compatriots suck-it-up and vote for them. Now, it’s our turn.
About the time you read this, Greg’s big fundraiser, featuring former California Governor George Deukmejian (who has already endorsed Greg) will be going on. If you see this in time, please attend. It is at 6:30 pm on Sunday August 26 at the Arbat banquet hall in Burbank. Regardless, please contribute to the campaign. You can get all the information and even donate online by going to www.krikorian2012.com.
Please, start talking up Greg to your friends and neighbors. Go to his events and follow the news about the campaign. It’s especially important to focus on media coverage, and respond quickly, since it seems the Glendale News-Press has a bit of a bias against Greg. In future articles, I’ll discuss many of the reasons why Greg’s opponent is utterly unworthy of being elected to this important position. Get busy!