PHILADELPHIA, PA – Less than four days before Sen. Barack Obama’s historic election, Armenia’s for Obama activists across the U.S. were mounting a final push to "get-out-the-vote" (GOTV) and ensure a momentous victory for the Obama-Biden ticket. The excitement was palpable, with local supporters teaming up with Armenian National Committee activists to canvass, phone bank and assist campaign in growing numbers.
"It is great to see so many Armenian American’s take part in this historic election and work to get the vote out in support of the Obama-Biden ticket," commented Areen Ibran’ssian, Chairman of Armenia’s for Obama. "Sen. Obama has been outspoken on Armenian Genocide recognition, self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh, and a strong U.S.-Armenia relationship ‘s stances which have energized activists across the U.S. to unprecedented levels."
Following is a sampling of Armenia’s for Obama efforts in select states ahead of Tuesday’s historic election.
Representing a small but vibrant Armenian American community, Armenia’s for Obama activist Noubar Sarkissian had joined with family and friends in El Dorado, Arkansas in support of the Obama-Biden ticket.
Whether assembling yard signs, canvassing local communities, or leading volunteer efforts to drive people to the polls on November 4th, team members were active in all aspects of the local campaign. Not deterred by the lack of an official Obama-Biden office in the Arkansas, Sarkissian and his team gathered at the Democratic Party headquarters daily to support the effort.
Armenia’s for Obama activists in Illinois took part in "Drive for Change," by traveling to surrounding battleground states including Indiana and Wisconsin. Among the activists was Lorena Kurtjian, who went to Lake County, Indiana to canvas in different neighborhoods, encouraging voter registration prior to the deadline.
Massachusetts Armenian Americans held phone-banking sessions at the Armenian Cultural and Education Center in Watertown, reaching out to hundreds of voters in key battleground states, from Colorado to New Hampshire. The team traveled from Boston to New Hampshire on November 1st for the final canvassing push in the state.
Michigan activists worked the phone lines for "Get Out the Vote" targeting Armenian Americans in New Hampshire. Armenia’s for Obama activists also held a series of voter registration drives at various community functions over the past six months.
Armenia’s for Obama college students Michelle Hagopian and Stephen Hagopian led the Missouri efforts, spending time in the Missouri Obama Headquarters in preparation of election day get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities. The volunteers worked with the youth GOTV leader in the Columbia office.
In New Jersey, the local Armenian National Committee held an Election Night 2008 Public Forum, and heard from Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) and Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ-9) on the importance of voting for Obama this election. In Elizabeth, representing Armenia’s for Obama, ANCA ER Director Karine Birazian, and Ryan Kim, President of Asians for Obama Tri-State Finance Committee, attended and spoke at Benedictine Academy, debating against a McCain-Palin campaign representative on the importance of voting for Obama this coming November.
In New York City, Armenia’s for Obama and Greeks for Obama organized a joint fundraiser in an effort to promote, raise awareness, and motivate the GOTV effort on November 4th.
Pennsylvania Armenian activists were active since the primaries, including volunteering in campaign offices, attending events, and canvassing for the campaign. Armenia’s for Obama youth activist Mikael Garabedian led the way, creating networking opportunities and leading phone banking efforts for GOTV initiatives for Armenian Americans in Pennsylvania. Nora Keomurjian and Karine Birazian also participated in a "Pennsylvania Women for Obama" event with Obama Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Armenia’s for Obama volunteer Ani Hagopian spent two weeks volunteering full time at the Obama office in Media, and is a graduate of Camp Obama. Phone banking continued in the state until Election Day, and Armenian American volunteers were canvassing with the campaign from November 1st-4th.
Members of the Armenian National Committee were actively circulating the Armenia’s for Obama flier to parishioners at all three Armenian churches in Rhode Island to help get Armenian American voters out to the polls. ANC-RI members also organized volunteers to work the polls and support the Obama-Biden ticket and other locally endorsed candidates.
Armenia’s for Obama activists in the Greater Washington area traveled to the Virginia Obama headquarters, volunteering door-to-door gauging Virginia voters on who they will support on Election Day. They joined with ANC activists who had been phonebanking into Virginia over the past months.
Armenian activists in Green Bay, Wisconsin worked to make a difference in the Badger State. ANCA Capital Gateway alumnus Vazrig Sabounjian served as a Regional Field Director and organizing volunteers throughout the area.
Armenia’s for Obama is a nationwide voter registration, education, and mobilization effort dedicated to electing Barack Obama President. Based in Los Angeles, and with chapters and affiliates across the country, Armenia’s for Obama will harness the energy and enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s candidacy to ensure record high Armenian American turnout in critical battleground states.
For more information on Armenia’s for Obama, please visit www.armenia’sforobama.com.