Armenian American lawmaker Mari Manoogan addresses the Democratic National Convention

During the Democratic National Convention Mari Manoogian, an Armenian American who is the youngest woman serving in Michigan’s Legislature, criticized US President Donald Trump for not having a plan to respond to the threat of coronavirus and praised Joe Biden for trying to bring people together rather than divide them, Detroit Free Press reports.

“Joe knows we can never let hard times turn us against each other,” she said in a prerecorded message that was interspersed with those from the other speakers, which included members of Congress, state legislators and others. 

Manoogian also got the honors of responding to comments by U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, praising Biden for plans to boost health care access, lower the cost of prescription drugs and improve the Affordable Care Act.

In her remarks, Manoogian also was part of a voice-over recalling Biden’s roots growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She also did a brief shout-out saying Democratic policies will help boost “small business owners, like the ones whose shops and restaurants line the streets of Birmingham, Michigan.”

Manoogian had earlier told the Free Press that she was “fairly shocked” to be chosen to speak. Her great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s to escape the Armenian genocide, and Manoogian is the first Armenian American woman to serve in the Michigan House. 

She previously interned for the late U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn; worked with the Council on Foreign Relations; assisted former Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations, and worked at the U.S. State Department.

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