SAN FRANCISCO– Representatives of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Armenian National Committee were in attendance as California State Assembly Majority Leader Kevin Shelley received dozens of friends and supporters in his bid to become the next Secretary of State for California.
The event–co-hosted by the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association and was held at their Pier 9 San Francisco headquarters.
ANC representatives Ani Baghdassarian and Haig Baghdassarian spoke at length with Assemblyman Shelley and his Chief of Staff–Laurie McBride–about state support for Armenian Genocide curriculum materials which the ANC has developed–as well as other issues relevant to Armenian-Americans in California. Shelley committed to working with the ANC to secure funding for the dissemination of Armenian Genocide high school materials during the next fiscal year.
Expressing great concern about the significant decline over the past 40 years in the proportion of eligible voters who vote–Assemblyman Shelley said he is on a mission to address this problem of the electoral process. He also emphasized the need to improve the training of poll workers and the technology which is currently used in ballots–in light of irregularities in last November’s presidential election as well as recent polling problems in San Francisco. As California’s next Secretary of State–he said he would be best positioned to improve the process–restore public confidence–and bring more voters back to the polls.
Shelley–who was previously a San Francisco Supervisor and comes from a family of California politicians–is challenged by former Secretary of State March Fong Eu–who has broad name recognition throughout the state. Shelley has the endorsemen’s of all Democratic Assembly members–Senators–and members of the House of Representatives.
As Secretary of State–Shelley would also likely be able to bolster trade relations between Armenia and California–in light of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two governmen’s. Haig Baghdassarian expressed the ANC’s support for his candidacy and his work in the Assembly. representatives also had the opportunity to discuss some issues of local concern with San Francisco Supervisor Mark Leno at this well attended event.