ENGLEWOOD–NJ–On June 18–more than 100 Armenian community activists gathered at the home of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) president Berge Setrakian for a fundraiser in support of Congressman Frank Pallone–who represents New Jersey’s Sixth Congressional District. Currently serving his ninth term–Pallone has long been a friend of the Armenia’s and is the co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. Pallone was eager to engage with the Armenian-American community as he embarked on his upcoming bid for the U.S. Senate.
Setrakian praised Congressman Pallone’s advocacy of the Armenian community and its causes. Armenian Assembly of America Board of Directors vice chair Annie Totah and Armenian National Committee of America executive director Aram Hamparian both lauded Pallone’s work–and encouraged community activists to support his Senate campaign. Hamparian emphasized that–as a U.S. Senator–Pallone would have even greater opportunities to stand up for Armenian issues–and to defend the community against those who seek to undermine the enduring ties between the United States and the Armenian people.
Totah stressed that Pallone’s impact as an advocate of the Armenia’s would be "10 times stronger" if he were elected to the Senate; Hamparian added that Pallone’s support of Armenia’s has been a "valuable asset," especially in the areas of Armenian genocide recognition–foreign aid–trade relations and the rights of Karabagh to self-determination.
Pallone offered his remarks to those present and to the Armenian community at large. Speaking from his experience in serving the community–which includes traveling to Armenian and fighting Armenian battles in Washington–Pallone thanked attendees for their support over the years.
Pallone thanked the Setrakians for their support–and reaffirmed his longstanding cooperation with the ANCA and Assembly. He described his recent efforts with New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine–to end the genocide being committed in the Darfur region of Sudan. Noting the similarities between the Armenian and Darfur genocides–he stressed the need for a US foreign policy that prioritizes the prevention of genocides.
The congressman then offered an in-depth review of the state of Armenian issues in Washington–including the recently introduced Armenian Genocide legislation–the foreign aid bill–US-Armenia trade opportunities–and the further development of ties between the United States and Armenia.
Pallone also answered questions and addressed commen’s from the guests. Substantial funds were raised to help the Pallone for Senate campaign–and the occasion was as enjoyable as it was politically potent.