TEANECK–NJ–Armenian-American community leaders from northern New Jersey gathered in Teaneck Sunday–July 27th for a in-depth consultation with Congressman Steve Rothman–a leading advocate for Armenian issues in the nation’s capital.
Rep. Rothman–a first term Democrat from New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District–opened the briefing by outlining the steps he has taken to advance Armenian American issues within the 105th Congress. Following his remarks–the Congressman invited the community leaders–representing a broad cross-section of the increasingly active northern New Jersey community–to share their views–ask questions–and exchange ideas about how to represent the concerns of the New Jersey Armenian community. For the next two hours–the groups engaged in a dialogue on the various issues facing the Armenian people. Subjects ranged from recognition of the Armenian Genocide to strengthening Armenia’s statehood–self-determination for Nagorno-Karabakh–US aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh–and lifting the devastating Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades.
"The large Armenian American community in New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District knows that it has a friend in Steve Rothman," remarked the chairman of the ANC of NJ–Levon Baghdassarian–after the meeting. "We were all encouraged by his impressive record during his first seven months in office and look forward to working with him in the future. Our community is deeply gratified to have such an ardent supporter of our cause in Congress," he added.
Since taking office in January of 1997–Rothman has supported a broad range of Armenian American Congressional initiatives. This past April he was a featured speaker at the Armenian Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill. He has cosponsored both the Armenian Genocide resolution and the Armenian Assistance Act–which would re-direct $22 million dollars of US aid from Turkey to Armenia.
Earlier this year he co-signed a letter to the chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee–Rep. Sonny Callahan–urging him to support US aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Most recently–Rothman participated in a face-to-face meeting with Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev–after which he urged his colleagues to work to maintain Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act–which restricts US aid to Azerbaijan.
The Armenian National Committee of New Jersey–which coordinated this briefing–is a state-wide–grass-roots–political advocacy organization–committed to representing the concerns of New Jersey’s vibrant Armenian community and to advocating Armenian issues to New Jersey’s elected federal–state–and local officials.
Individuals wishing to assist the ANC of New Jersey are encouraged to contact their offices at (201) 945-0011.