LOS GATOS, Calif.—A standing room only crowd of young Armenian American professionals, community leaders, and public officials gathered for the launch of the Armenian National Committee of America’s new Silicon Valley division (ANCA Silicon Valley).
ANCA National Chairman Raffi Hamparian offered remarks at the chapter’s inaugural event, briefing those in attendance on the full range of federal pro-Armenian priorities pursued by the organization.
“My husband Shahe and I were pleased to host this first ANCA of Silicon Valley ‘Meet and Greet’ at our home,” remarked Ani Sedrakian-Yenikomshian. “We had a wonderful turnout of individuals from across our community who share a common interest in the ANCA’s 360-degree advocacy for Armenia and Artsakh. All came ready to engage, and all left inspired to work collectively to advance our community and our cause – at the local, state, and national levels.”
The hosts of this event are long-time supporters of the ANCA and have been active stewards of the Silicon Valley’s growing Armenian community, working with a broad range of organizations to advance local priorities.
In his remarks to attendees, Hamparian focused on seven key initiatives the ANCA is forcefully advancing in Washington, DC. First, he referenced the ANCA’s two-decades of advocacy for direct U.S. aid to Artsakh – which has resulted in 97% of Artsakh being de-mined through the HALO Trust.
Second, he discussed the U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty – which the ANCA is working to realize in order to strengthen U.S.-Armenia commercial relations. Third, he reviewed the ANCA’s work on a new Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact for Armenia that would, if implemented, provide as much as $140 million in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math programs for public schools in Armenia. Fourth, he provided an overview of why the ANCA is advancing a new U.S.-Armenia Social Security Agreement. Fifth, he gave attendees some insight on the ANCA’s work to advance the pro-peace Royce-Engel initiative to strengthen the Artsakh ceasefire. Sixth, he discussed the ANCA’s work to establish direct flights between the U.S. and Armenia. Seventh, he reviewed the ANCA’s efforts to end Turkey’s gag-rule against honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
Lastly, the ANCA Chairman focused on the future, by discussing the ANCA’s Leo Sarkisian summer internship program and the organization’s marquee Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program, which helps college graduates launch careers in policy, politics, and media in Washington, DC.
Long-time ANCA leader Haig Baghdassarian, who has been at the forefront of advancing state-legislative issues, provided attendees with a broad understanding of the ANCA’s grassroots efforts in communities across the U.S. to advance the Armenian Cause. Baghdassarian stressed the important role the ANCA Silicon Valley can play in leveraging the power of the area’s influential Armenian community to secure the support of local, state and federal officials in strengthening U.S. ties with Armenia and Artsakh.
Prior to the event, Hamparian met with a broad range of Silicon Valley leaders, including Supervisor Joe Simitian from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, St. Andrews Armenian Apostolic Church Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Datev Harutyunian, along with the chairs of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), Armenian Relief Society (ARS), Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Homenetmen Armenian Scouting and Educational Association, and Armenian Healthcare Association of the Bay Area (AHABA).
Individuals interested in learning more about the new ANCA Silicon Valley Chapter and how to join its efforts are encouraged to contact: [email protected]