On Friday, December 13, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region held a private meet and greet with CA Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg at the Peschekerian Center in Glendale, CA. Attended by over 35 community leaders, the reception served as an opportunity for the Senator to exchange ideas and become better acquainted with the leadership of ANCA WR local chapters, sister and community organizations in the Southern California region.
“True to its mission of serving as the bridge between elected officials and the Armenian-American community, the ANCA WR with pleasure hosted Senator Steinberg to allow our leadership and Senator Steinberg to discuss critical local and state issues effecting CA and our communities,” stated ANCA WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan. “We are confident the event will serve as a stepping stone for our leaders to work more closely with the Senator’s office moving forward,” added Asatryan.
The event included a short program with remarks by ANCA WR Board Chair Nora Hovsepian who welcomed the Senator into the ANCA family by extending the official ANCA pin, making him an honorary member of the ANCA Western Region. During her remarks Hovsepian noted that the organization looks forward to working with the Senator on several major undertakings of the ANCA Western including the Annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento, the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and took the opportunity to invite the Senator to spearhead the next delegation trip to Armenia and Artsakh from the Senate side – to which Steinberg positively responded that he very much looks forward to doing so.
LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian followed Ms. Hovsepian to introduce Steinberg as he told stories of how the Senator time and again has served as a heroic, strong leader on issues of concern to Armenia, Artsakh, and the Armenian-American community. One in particular story shared was the time when the Senator did not allow for diplomats from Azerbaijan to spread false propaganda around the State Capitol and refused to attend the dinner hosted for the visiting diplomats from Azerbaijan and SOCAR.
Steinberg took the floor and stated “It is very much my honor to work with ANCA Western Region and to get to know the Armenian American community here in Southern California and no matter where I go I will forever remember the story that Paul just told from my perspective, which is – I learned. I hope to continue to learn from you and look forward to a long, productive friendship- not just relationship, but friendship with you for years to come”.
The short program ended with a Q&A session on topics that ranged from recent hurdles dealing with false Azeri propaganda in the State Capitol to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide as well as concerns about public education, lack of mental health services, and the future of the State.