LOS ANGELES, CA–Friends and supporters of the Armenian National Committee–Political Action Committee Monday joined together to attend an annual fundraiser held in southern California in support of Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA). The Congressman, who serves as the second most powerful Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has been a staunch supporter of Armenian American issues in the 110th Congress. Congressman Berman represents over 600,000 residents of California’s 28th Congressional District (encompassing a large area of the San Fernando Valley), a district that is home to tens of thousands of Armenian Americans.
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Genocide Accountability Act authored by Congressman Berman. The Genocide Accountability Act would close a legal loophole that prevents the United States Department of Justice from prosecuting people in our country who have committed genocide abroad. The Justice Department has identified individuals who are or have been in the United States that they suspect had an active role in the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Under current law, the Justice Department is unable to interview or charge any of these individuals because DOJ lacks jurisdictional rights. The Senate passed an identical bill in March 2007. Because both chambers passed identical versions of the bill, it will directly go to the President to be signed into law. The Armenian National Committee of America was a proud supporter of the Genocide Accountability Act sponsored by Congressman Berman.
The fundraising event for Congressman Berman, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, drew a number of notable public officials, including Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama. Among those also on hand were U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and James Costa (D-CA), California State Controller John Chiang, State Senator Alex Padilla and State Assemblymember Paul Krekorian.
"I was pleased to be on hand to share my appreciation for Congressman Berman’s support for issues regarding Armenia that my family and friends care so much about," remarked ANC-PAC supporter and Berman constituent Serop Beylerian.
"I was proud to watch Congressman Berman’speak in support of and vote for the Armenian Genocide resolution when it came before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on October 10th. Tonight I came to this event to say thank you to the Congressman," commented ANC-PAC supporter Peklar Pilavjian.
"Armenian Americans are loyal to their friends. I attended this event to express my appreciation for the pro-Armenian American agenda Congressman Berman has brought to Washington, DC for over two decades," said ANC-PAC activist Oshin Harootoonian after the event.
The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old tradition of Armenian Americans engagement on the public policy issues facing national political leaders, both in the U.S. Congress and the White House.