PASADENA, CA—With a heat wave scorching much of southern California, a gathering in the cool confines of the Pasadena Armenian Center with Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard drew a strong turnout on September 29, 2010. Over seventy-five community leaders, activists and interested parties attended the Pasadena ANC’s town hall meeting with Mayor Bogaard, continuing a tradition the organization has established in connecting local political and civic leaders with Armenian Americans residing in the City of Pasadena.
With opening remarks from Pasadena ANC leader Dro Hagopian, a trio of grassroots leaders from sister organizations introduced Mayor Bogaard to the town hall meeting. Representatives of the Pasadena AYF “Nigol Touman” chapter, Homenetmen “Azadamard” Chapter and the AYF Badenagan chapter took turns introducing the Mayor, with each providing information on his personal and political background. The fact that so many young Armenian Americans introduced the Mayor and that many other youth were on hand, made a strong impression on the Mayor and those in attendance.
“I think our town hall meeting tonight with Mayor Bogaard captured the true essence of what such a forum represents,” remarked Pasadena ANC leader Dro Hagopian. According to Wikipedia, a town hall meeting is an informal public meeting. Everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials about shared subjects of interest. “The dialogue we had with the Mayor today was a remarkably positive two-way conversation. I am proud that the Pasadena ANC facilitated this dialogue and look forward to hosting similar events for our community in the near future,” added. Hagopian.
In his remarks at the town hall meeting, Mayor Bogaard provided a lively assessment of the state of the city. He detailed the city’s efforts to maintain its finances in good order, while also providing for the needs of Pasadena’s residents, especially on issues related to public safety. The Mayor also provided an update on the strategic thinking that went into major investments the city has made in its convention center and Pasadena Water and Power.
“Work at City Hall is focused largely on efforts to create a strong future for our community and equal opportunity for all of its members,” the Mayor remarked at the Pasadena ANC town hall meeting. “This includes long range financial planning, investment in infrastructure, the update of the General Plan, and the renovation of the Rose Bowl,” the Mayor added.
The Mayor concluded his remarks by delivering a strong statement in support of Pasadena public school system, citing that API scores have increased steadily in the school system over the past decade. Following his remarks, the Mayor thoughtfully answered half a dozen questions from town hall attendees.
The town hall meeting with Mayor Bogaard continues a year-long campaign to connect leaders in the City of Pasadena with the local Armenian American community. Last month, the Pasadena ANC hosted a town hall meeting with newly installed Pasadena Chief of Police Phil Sanchez. Future town hall meetings will feature other city leaders who are impacting the future of the City of Pasadena.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.
Photo Caption: Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard looks on as AYF Juniors leader Lory Djiguerian introduces him at a Pasadena ANC Town Hall meeting held on Wednesday, September 29th at the Pasadena Armenian Community Center. The event drew a large and diverse crowd of Armenian American activists.