SAN JOSE–Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) traveled to San Jose to participate in the California Republican Party (CRP) Convention held February 24-26. During the three-day convention–ANCA-WR Director Armen Carapetian and ANCA activist Jack Hadjinian met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as other Republican leaders to discuss issues of concern to Armenian Americans.
Carapetian and Hadjinian joined the CRP Volunteer Organization Committee meeting with the California Congress of Republicans–California State Republican National Hispanic Assembly–and California Federation of Republican Women–among others–where participants discussed opportunities to collaborate on initiatives. Many candidates for statewide offices were on-hand during the meeting to provide updates on their campaigns. Governor Schwarzenegger greeted the volunteer organizations and thanked them for their support. "Volunteers have always been extremely important in campaigns," said the Governor in his remarks.
Following the meeting–Jack Hadjinian spoke with the Governor and thanked him for his principled stance on the Armenian genocide. Hadjinian–a Montebello resident–extended a special invitation to the Governor for this year’s commemoration of the Armenian genocide at the Armenian Martyrs Memorial Monument at Bicknell Park. Paying homage to the victims of the Armenian genocide at the monument is an annual tradition for Los Angeles area Armenian Americans. This commemoration regularly draws over 10,000 visitors–including many elected officials. Most notably–in 1969–then Governor Ronald Reagan joined His Holiness Khoren I in commemorating the Armenian genocide at the monument. This year’s remembrance event will take place on Sunday–April 23.
The convention provided the ANCA-WR the opportunity to reach out to California Republican elected officials and candidates for elected office. Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-48)–who was the only Congressional member at the convention–reiterated his support for the Armenian genocide legislation pending in the House of Representatives. State Senator Chuck Poochigian (Fresno) invited the ANCA representatives to a special reception and briefed them on his campaign for Attorney General. Carapetian and Hadjinian also met many Republican Party activists over the weekend–including Armenian Americans involved in the CRP and various campaigns.
"It’s important for us to be here–and it’s good to see that Armenian Americans are involved at this crucial level of the political process," said Carapetian. "We have received nothing but appreciation for coming to this convention–and we will continue to build on the relationships we established this weekend."
The ANCA-WR sponsored an exhibit table at the convention to familiarize those in attendance with the organization–its programs and initiatives. Carapetian and Hadjinian also took part in workshops hosted by the CRP aimed at training activists in all areas of campaigning. The next CRP Convention will be held in the fall.
The ANCA is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices–chapters–and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world–the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.