GRANADA HILLS—In furtherance of its role to bridge the relationship between the grassroots of the Armenian community and its local elected officials, the ANCA-North San Fernando Valley Chapter organized and hosted a Candidate Forum. The forum was held on July 25 at the Melkon and Angel Melkonian Armenian Center. Nearly one hundred attendees gathered to hear candidates John Lee and Loraine Lundquist, ahead of the upcoming August 13 Los Angeles City Council District 12 Special Runoff Election, speak about various issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
The forum, moderated by Asabrez Editor Ara Khachatourian, featured welcoming remarks by the ANCA North San Fernando Valley Chair Kevin Boyadjian who thanked both candidates for accepting the invitation to participate in the candidate forum without any hesitation. The forum addressed a variety of issues including Yerevan-Los Angeles sister city relations, the gas leak crisis, homelessness, safety, and housing among many others. The candidates were given the opportunity to present their ideas and future plans for what they envisioned for the district.
Both candidates pledged their support for a just resolution of the issue of the Armenian Genocide and expressed their willingness to strengthen their relationship with the local Armenian community. Lee signaled interest in visiting Armenia while Dr. Lundquist expressed her solidarity with a 2014 L.A. City Council decision to recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh.
Homelessness and traffic were among some of the main matters that were repeatedly mentioned. John Lee called homelessness not just a housing crisis, but also a drug and mental-health crisis. Meanwhile, Lundquist said she was in support of having the county fund rent subsidies, drug, mental health counseling and other programs. She also explained that affordable development is another solution to the homelessness issue.
The Special Runoff Election on August 13. The ANCA’s HyeVotes initiative strongly encourages all qualified members of the Armenian-American community to get out the vote and make our collective voices heard.
John Lee is a father, husband, community leader, and San Fernando Valley native with nearly 20 years of experience working for and delivering results for the communities of Los Angeles’ Twelfth Council District. A long-time community leader, John has served on the boards of various non-profit organizations in the San Fernando Valley. To learn more about his campaign, please the website.
Loraine Lundquist is a scientist, activist, and mom. She was raised by a career army soldier and a middle school math teacher, and lived all over the country before settling in Northridge for the past 9 years. She has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and served as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences and a research scientist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. To learn more about her campaign, please visit the website.
The ANCA-NSFV is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the North San Fernando Valley. Working in coordination with a network of offices and supporters throughout the region, the ANCA-NSFV advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.