EAST LOS ANGELES – Representatives from the Armenian Council of America (ACA) along with the Armenian Assembly of America, Southern California Armenian Democrats (SCAD), and the Armenian National Committee met with Senator Bernie Sanders on November 16 to discuss key issues of importance to the Armenian American community ahead of the 2020 presidential primary.
ACA Board Member Harry Unell gave a brief introduction of the organization and explained the scope of work and mission of ACA. “We have worked on legislation from Genocide recognition to the formal recognition of Artsakh, including advocating for democracy in Turkey amd Azerbaijan, as their democracy directly impacts Armenia,” said Unell.
“ACA also has a legal aid program which aims to assist citizens and non-citizens who are economically challenged or below the poverty line, including providing resources for undocumented Armenians currently residing in the U.S.”
Some of the many topics discussed included recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Senate, economic aid to Armenia and recognition for Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).
Christine Aghakhanian, ACA Board Member thanked Senator Sanders for his support of U.S. economic aid to Armenia. She reiterated the enormous strides the Armenian government is making towards economic equality and transparency of government in light of the recent Velvet Revolution and urged Sanders along with his colleagues in the Senate to continue their support.
“We hope, if elected, you will be the first U.S. President to visit Armenia,” Aghakhanian added.
During the meeting Sanders was gifted an Armenian Genocide Centennial forget-me-not flower pin which he wore during the rally attended by thousands at Woodrow Wilson High School immediately following the meeting.
“Overall we had a very productive meeting with Senator Sanders who is genuinely interested in hearing about the needs and concerns of our community,” said ACA Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian. “We look forward to continued dialogue with his office” he added.
The Armenian Council of America is committed to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community, and to champion the causes and concerns of the Armenian-American community within local, state, and federal governments.