BOISE, ID — True to its grassroots, the Armenian National Committee of American – Western Region (ANCA-WR) will continue its community organizing around the Western United States, now with two stops in the state of Idaho. The Twin Falls Town Hall will be held at the St. Ignatius Orthodox Christian Church, 1830 Addison Ave. E. on Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. The Boise Town Hall will be held at the St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 2618 W. Bannock St. on Saturday, March 19 at 3 p.m.
“We are excited to visit our communities in Idaho a month after we jointly defeated a pro-Azerbaijan resolution in the state legislature,” remarked ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan. “The town hall meetings play a key role in connecting with the different communities in our region and learning about their needs and interests, while also serving as an opportunity to further engage them in our ongoing collective work. We look forward to meeting Idaho community members and strengthening our joint efforts in proactively promoting issues of concern to the Armenian American community,” added Asatryan.
On February 11, 2016, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee introduced House Concurrent Resolution 37 in praise of Azerbaijan’s “interfaith tolerance,” sponsored by Representative Thomas Dayley. Upon learning about the resolution, ANCA-WR immediately alerted the local Armenian American community, submitted testimony to all House members in opposition to the resolution and called upon all members to encourage the withdrawal of this resolution. The numerous calls and emails generated by the ANCA-WR and local residents, as well as ANCA-Idaho chair Liyah Babayan’s meetings with lawmakers during which she and her mother shared their personal experiences of persecution as Baku Armenians, educated lawmakers on Azerbaijan’s actual human rights record. On Feb. 17, Representative Thomas Loertscher, chairman of the committee, confirmed in an email that the sponsor had effectively withdrawn the resolution.
“Our community is excited about ANCA-WR’S upcoming visit to Idaho, since connecting to the greater diaspora has been our goal for the last two decades,” remarked Babayan. “There are too many untapped opportunities in the state, yet our grassroots is strong in Idaho and is evident in all that we have achieved both in our cities and state. There is power in partnerships, and ANCA has a proven record of strong organization and success in furthering Armenian interests. This is a pivotal moment in the Idaho-Armenian community, one we have been anticipating and are ready to embrace.”
Town Hall meetings are led by ANCA-WR senior staff and board members who provide attendees with an overview of the organization and its priorities. After the presentation, community members have an opportunity to ask questions, discuss issues of concern, make recommendations, and learn about ways to get involved with ANCA efforts locally. For more information about the upcoming ANCA Town Hall meetings individuals are encouraged to contact the ANCA-WR office by emailing [email protected] or by calling 818.500.1918.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.