GLENDALE–The Armenian National Committee-Political Action Committee announced Tuesday that it has endorsed Adam Schiff in the race for California’s 27th congressional seat.
"Senator Schiff has not only been an outstanding representative for our community–he has an excellent record on issues impacting his Armenian-American constituents," explained ANC-PAC Board Member Berdj Karapetian.
The ANC-PAC praised Schiff’s record on blocking the Turkish Government’s efforts to deny the Armenian Genocide–securing funding for the production of a documentary on the Armenian Genocide–advocating the passage of legislation to benefit Armenian Genocide survivors–and taking a leadership role for expanding economic relations between the State of California and the Republic of Armenia.
The ANC-PAC also expressed its appreciation to the Senator for his success at securing funding for juvenile crime prevention and intervention programs–affordable housing–and services for seniors in his district. The Senator’s efforts to expand job opportunities and business in the district was applauded by the ANC-PAC.
"While Congressman Rogan is certainly a friend of the Armenian Community–Senator Schiff is a champion of the Armenian Cause," remarked the ANC-PAC spokesperson.
"Adam Schiff has accomplished what he promised to the ANC-PAC four years ago and we anticipate him being even more proactive as a Member of Congress," observed ANC-PAC member Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian.
Earlier this week–Sen. Schiff issued the first of his position papers on issues of concern to his Armenian-American constituents. The position paper describes the candidate’s view on US aid to Armenia–support for Nagorno-Karabakh and self-determination–the restrictions on US aid to Azerbaijan–proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide–the restriction of arm sales and US aid to Turkey–and outreach to Armenian-American constituents.
Schiff plans to issue a second position paper in the coming weeks on local–domestic and social issues of concern to Armenian-Americans residing in the 27th Congressional District.
The 27th Congressional District includes Pasadena–Glendale–Burbank–La Canada-Flintridge–San Marino and La Crescenta–as well as parts of Los Angeles County–and is home to roughly 100,000 Armenian Americans.
The ANC-PAC endorsement comes at a time when the number of Armenian American voters in the district has risen dramatically–resulting in the election of Rafi Manoukian to the Glendale City Council in 1999 and the strong showings by Republican Craig Missakian and Democrat Paul Krekorian in the March 2000 primaries for the 43rd State Assembly race.
First elected to the California State Senate in 1996–Senator Schiff quickly earned the respect of his colleagues and the Senate leadership and was promptly elevated to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. As a member of the State Senate–Schiff has demonstrated a remarkable understanding of issues impacting the Armenian community on both the national and local levels and the ability to initiate innovative and effective measures to address these concerns.
In response to the Turkish Government’s attempts to infiltrate American academia through the funding of Turkish chairs in US universities for the purposes of distorting and denying the Armenian Genocide and in order to ensure academic integrity is preserved–in 1998 Senator Schiff–along with then Senate President Bill Lockyer–authored a measure that mandated the University of California to establish criteria by which to consider foreign funding–gifts and gran’s to State academic institutions. Using the California model as a guide–several states including Massachusetts–Michigan and Rhode Island have since adopted similar legislation.
In 1999–Senator Schiff secured roughly $500,000 in state funding for the Armenian Film Foundation to produce a documentary on the Armenian Genocide. The film–"Voices from the Lake – the Secret Genocide" was submitted for consideration in the documentary film category at last year’s Academy Awards and has also been submitted for inclusion in the Vienna International Film Festival later this year. "Voices from the Lake" is expected to premiere in Southern California in October 2000.
Several months ago–Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Schiff became the principal co-author of SB 1915–legislation extending the statute of limitations for Armenian Genocide survivors and their heirs in the pursuit of genocide era insurance claims. With the strong support of Chairman Schiff–the measure unanimously passed the Judiciary Committee and has since moved to the State Assembly for consideration.
In order to stimulate local entrepreneurship and assist the fledgling Republic of Armenia–Senator Schiff–working closely with California State Trade and Commerce Secretary Lon Hatamiya–initiated a study to explore the possibility of opening a California Trade Office in Armenia. In addition–last month Senator Schiff hosted a Trade and Commerce symposium in Glendale with Secretary Hatamiya for Armenian American businesses interested in expanding their activities and learning more about California programs designed to assist small and medium sized companies.
As a former prosecutor in the U. S. Attorney’s Office and an active member of the Big Brothers program–Senator Adam Schiff has always taken a special interest in tackling youth violence. Later this month Senator Schiff–working in partnership with the Glendale Unified School District and the City of Glendale–will host a Select Committee on Juvenile Justice Hearing on Combating Youth Violence at the Glendale Central Library Auditorium.
The ANC-PAC’s recommendations are based upon the candidate’s record of support for issues of concern to Armenian Americans as well as their potential to effectively advance those issues once elected to office.
"Senator Adam Schiff’s record indicates he is the candidate best suited to assume the increasingly challenging role of representing the residents of the 27th District," concluded Karapetian.