WASHINGTON–The Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council took part in a recent Democratic Party fundraiser which featured a keynote speech by President Bill Clinton and which was attended by more than three dozen US Senators and Representatives.
In addition to the President’s remarks–the program was marked by speeches from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle–House Democratic leaders Richard Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi–as well as several other prominent elected officials. The event–which was held soon after a successful effort to maintain conditions on US aid to Azerbaijan (Section 907)–provided AADLC representatives with an opportunity to thank Democratic Members of Congress who led the fight to preserve the ban on direct US government-to-government aid to Azerbaijan.
At the event–AADLC members spoke with Democratic Party leaders and elected officials about a number of issues of concern to the Armenian American community. They also addressed future cooperative efforts between the Democratic Party and the Armenian-American community. Among the many elected officials AADLC representatives met with–were Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed–California Representative Bob Filner and New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey. In talks with these officials–it was agreed that the support of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate–combined with the growing activism of the Armenian ommunity has been successful.
"Congressional Democrats have repeatedly proven their commitment to issues of deep concern to the Armenian-American community–as demonstrated most recently by the outcome of the September 17th vote on Section 907. Of the 193 House Democrats in Congress–74 percent–or 143 members–voted for the Radanovich-Pallone-Sherman-Rogan Amendment to save Section 907. In sharp contrast–the percentage of House Republicans who voted to preserve Section 907 was only 40 percent. The proof is indeed in the numbers," said AADLC Executive Director Alex Sardar.
"We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with our Democratic friends in Congress to promote the ideals and values of our Party and our community," added Sardar. "We are–in particular–gratified that so many of the top House Democratic leaders have a proven track record of supporting Armenian American concerns. Among these are Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt; Democratic Whip David Bonior; Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair Bob Menendez; Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Pat Kennedy–and; DCCC Vice-Chairman Frank Pallone. The House Republican leadership–by contrast–has distinguished itself by its opposition to a broad range of issues of concern to Armenian American voters."