PHOENIX–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) continued to reach out to Armenian communities across the Western United States with its recent trip to Phoenix–Arizona.
ANCA Western Region Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian and Government Relations Director Armen Carapetian met with ANC activists from the Arizona community to discuss the importance of the upcoming November elections. An ANC workshop with community leaders and activists highlighted their Grand Canyon State visit–along with participation in various community events–including a dance at the local church hall and a community picnic that attracted over one hundred Arizona Armenia’s.
"The Armenian American community in Arizona is growing and prospering," Kassakhian said following his two-day trip. "The increasing political awareness of Armenian Americans in Arizona impressed us. Clearly–the ANC of Arizona is going to play an important role in a state with eight Members of the House and two very important US Senators."
ANCA-WR staff spent the weekend in Arizona and collected signatures from community members for a petition addressed to Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) who serves as the Chairman of the influential Congressional Subcommittee on Foreign Operations Appropriations. The petitions urged Congressman Kolbe to maintain language in the Fiscal Year 2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill authored by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). The bill prohibits Turkey from using any US foreign aid money to lobby against official US acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide.
Over 100 signatures in support of the Kolbe petition were collected at a community picnic organized and hosted by the Arizona Armenian Relief Society. At the gathering–Kassakhian summarized ANCA’s priorities in Washington–DC and in the Western Region–including passage of a genocide resolution and of a bill to provide normal trade relations between the United States and Armenia.