MONTEBELLO, Calif.—The Armenian National Committee of America-San Gabriel Valley Chapter hosted its annual Armenian Christmas Dinner in Montebello on January 19th. The event, attended by dozens of elected officials and community organizations was well received by organizers and capacity crowd in attendance. The Dinner has been a tradition with the ANCA-SGV for years and has become an opportunity to introduce the community’s elected officials to the Armenian=American community that they serve.
“The event serves as a catalyst for us to build bridges between our community and our political representatives. These events are vital for the community because they create and foster lines of communication between our constituents and our dedicated civil servants” stated ANCA-SVG Board member Viken Pakradouni.
The elected officials in attendance included City Council and administration members from the city of Montebello, Downey, Pico Rivera, San Gabriel, El Monte, Norwalk, Bell Gardens and Rosemead. Members from the California State Senate and Assembly were also in attendance, including Majority Leader Ian Calderon, Rep. Christina Garcia, and State Senator Tony Mendoza, each of whom addressed the crowd.
Congresswoman Judy Chu addressed members of the community and reminded the crowd of Hrant Dink’s assassination in Turkey that took place a decade ago, shedding light on the plight faced by Armenians and other minority communities in Turkey. The congresswoman then addressed the issue of the Armenian genocide and the importance of providing aid and recognizing the statehood of Artsakh, all of which she stated, were priorities for her office.
“We are honored to have all of our elected representatives here with us tonight, our communities are stronger when the bond between our citizens and civic leaders are stronger, and that’s what we attempt to do with these types of events. The support by our elected officials for our cause and constituency is greatly appreciated, we look to further build upon it” stated ACF Chairman Boghos Sassounian.
The ANCA-San Gabriel Valley advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the region’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.