by Talar Chahianian
After having announced their official endorsemen’s of Hamo Rostamian running for Glendale City Council–Greg Krikorian for Glendale Unified School Board–and Armineh Hacopian for GCC Board of Trustees in the upcoming local elections–the ANC Glendale and La Crescenta chapters held a fund-raiser event in support of these candidates. The event–which took place on the evening of Tuesday–March 13th–gathered representatives from various Armenian organizations in the Glendale community. Beginning at 6:00 p.m.–inside Giggles Restaurant and Bar in Glendale–the four older children of Greg Krikorian–whom the candidate had proudly brought along–ran through a maze of about 200 supporters and red–blue and white balloons. Their playful laughter–mixed in with the murmur of the mingling crowd–the sound of the live violin music and the noise of many forks clanking against plates full of home-made appetizers–gave the event the appearance of a large Armenian family gathering. This warm atmosphere of the evening welcomed the call of solidarity–which all the candidates made–addressing the Armenian community of Glendale.
The small program for the evening commenced when Armond Gorgorian–from the ANC organizing committee–called to the platform the host for the night–Vicken Sonenz Papazian. Papazian–an ANC WR Board Member–greeted the crowd and dove straight into his introduction of the three candidates. Speaking of Rostamian–Krikorian and Hacopian–Papazian emphasized the uniqueness that each candidate offers to the City of Glendale and asked the crowd’s support on behalf of ANC.
Greg Krikorian–who was to run off to a parent conference at a school in La Crescenta–was the first candidate to be introduced and called to speak. In his introduction–Papazian reassured the sector of the Armenian public who worries about assimilation–that Krikorian was the man to be trusted in issues of the Armenian Cause. When Krikorian took the microphone–his speech radiated the description given about him in Papazian’s introduction. He opened his speech by saying–"I have so much love for our people–I can’t express it enough." After having presented to the crowd his wife and five children–all of whom carry beautiful Armenian names–Krikorian firmly stated his strong desire to install pride towards ethnic heritage in the Armenian children of the Glendale Unified School District. He stated that he is running in the elections for the 10,000 Armenian students in the district that need representation. Although he considers youth his greatest endorsement–Krikorian announced his new big political endorsemen’s–which he had received that same day from the Glendale Teacher’s Union and the Union of California Schools’ Employees. As he summed up his speech–Krikorian said–"My agenda is the children and I need your help!"
Hamo Rostamian–having been attributed characteristics of style–grace and dignity in Papazian’s introduction–rose to speak. He expressed his gratitude to the local chapters of ARF and ANC for their endorsement and support. Rostamian stressed the seriousness of this pivotal race–due to the three seats available in the City Council. He talked about the importance of having someone in the Council–who will make the Armenian case next to Raffi Manoukian. Rostamian went on to present some of the important issues on his platform–which are full of promising ideas on how to make Glendale a prosperous city–ready for the new century. Rostamian pledged to make Glendale a safer city and one which is more business friendly. He also pledged to aid the seniors face the challenges of affordability–particularly in area of housing–and aid the youth in offering them centers that encourage productive afterschool activities. Rostamian stands firm to his dedication to pursue the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He claimed that the Genocide is an issue that cannot be compromised under any condition and that Armenia’s need to stand united on the issue. He stated his belief in the importance of Armenia’s educating their neighbors about the actualities of the Armenian Genocide–as a first step in the pursuit of recognition. In his closing remarks–Rostamian reminded the crowd of the Raffi Manoukian victory. During that election–out of the 23 percent voter turnout in the city of Glendale–50 percent were Armenia’s. After stating these motivational statistics–Rostamian exclaimed–"We can control this election. Let’s do it!"
The third candidate–Armineh Hacopian was a bit detained due to a college course that she instructs. It is no wonder Papazian later introduced her by speaking of her great dedication and her commitment as an educator! During this interval–Papazian took advantage of the opportunity to tell the Armenian public that they had no excuse not to vote in the upcoming elections–given the competence and qualifications of the candidates. Inspired by the motivational speeches of the prior two candidates–Papazian re-instated the potency of the Armenia’s in Glendale as a political force.
Armineh Hacopian arrived shortly after–and rose to speak. Her words–crisp–clear and loud–could not hide the eminent determination and passion that Hacopian had placed in the agendas of her platform. Hacopian–running for the Glendale Community College’s Board of Trustees–expressed her desire to aid all students regardless of their age and ensure English literacy in the college–which currently has waiting lists of 1500 students for their English classes. Hacopian also talked about her commitment to educate students about personal safety. She then extended her gratitude to the ANC local chapters for their support in her campaign–and also to ANC as an organization–for being able to bring together young people in the political forefront. Hacopian asked the crowd for their help and support in making her and both Krikorian’s and Rostamian’s pledges a realization.
Following Hacopian–Armen Manoukian–Krikorian’s campaign manager–personally asked the crowd to show their financial support to the campaign. Artin Manoukian from the organizing committee of the event–gave some closing remarks in Armenian–after which the crowd moved to be photographed with the candidates.
The local elections will be held on Tuesday–April 3–2001.