LOS ANGELES–With no seats left for the overflow crowd in attendance–Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) addressed an enthusiastic audience at an ANC Leadership Institute gathering held on Sunday–September 29–2002. The event brought together a number of Armenian-American activists eager to hear from Pallone–who serves as the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
"I am pleased that the ANC Leadership Institute continues to bring together some of the best and brightest minds in our community," commented ANCA-WR Board Member Raffi Hamparian. "I am also especially happy that our Leadership Institute events continue to draw so many young professionals who care about the Armenian Cause," he added.
Arbi Ohanian–a 27-year-old community activist and medical professional from Pasadena attended the event with Representative Pallone. It was his second ANC Leadership event. "I enjoy the opportunity to meet prominent national leaders in a small setting–where you can speak directly with them–without large crowds. Today I got to speak personally with Congressman Pallone–which I appreciated," he added.
Pallone–a seven-term Member of Congress from New Jersey and the most senior representative of the State–provided an in-depth view of the challenges and opportunities facing Armenian issues in the US House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congressman dedicated a portion of his remarks to how the Turkish Government has attempted to capitalize–politically–from the post 9/11 atmosphere in Washington. He also commented on the prospects of advancing two key issues; Armenian Genocide recognition and securing ample US aid for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.
Pallone provided a helpful update on Turkey’s effort to secure passage of legislation–in both the US House and Senate–which would allow a large number of Turkish products to enter into the US duty free. The ANCA and its local chapters are fighting this legislation–which is being actively supported by the Bush Administration. The ANCA website – www.anca.org – has an action alert which allows individuals to voice their opposition to this unwarranted legislation.
The Armenian National Committee Leadership Institute was launched in the year 2002 to bring prominent political–academic–and civic leaders from across the United States and the world face-to-face with Armenian-American leaders from a variety of backgrounds.