BOULDER, Colo.—Colorado Armenian Americans, under the auspices of Rocky Mountain High Advocates (RMHA), hosted Rosemary Rodriguez, State Director for US Senator Michael Bennet (D), at the home of Pamela Barsam Brown for a luncheon on September 20.
Luncheon guests represented a host of Colorado interests and included state elected officials, educators, small business owners, artists and leaders from political, community, human rights and environmental organizations.
The Armenian National Committee of America welcomed the continued activism of the Colorado Armenian-American community and praised their efforts for advancing Armenian issues.
“Pamela, Vi, Jirair and all of our community’s great Colorado Armenian activists have been at the forefront in educating elected officials about the Armenian Genocide and urging an end to U.S. complicity in its denial,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “It is this type of consistent and ongoing grassroots activism that is the cornerstone of the success of Armenian advocacy efforts across the U.S.”
Barsam Brown explained, “Rosemary first met with a small group of Colorado Armenians at my home in July 2009, just months after assuming charge of Senator Bennet’s Colorado offices. Our group’s collective interest was to secure a firm Armenian Genocide position statement from our newly appointed Senator. From that point forward Rosemary actively assisted us in promoting our position with Senator Bennet. The final result of this truly united Colorado Armenian and genocide community effort came last month in a letter from our newest elected Senator to Jirair Christianian.”
In the letter, Senator Bennet writes, “The Ottoman Empire’s systematic killing of Armenians during the close of World War I can only be described as genocide. Between 1915 and 1922, 1.5 million Armenians were brutally deported, marched to their death, and systematically killed in camps — policies that were often sponsored and promoted by Ottoman authorities.”
Vi Bashian Cooper, who helped organize the event, added, “Pamela and I both felt this gathering was a perfect way to express our appreciation to Rosemary who is a very special person and truly dedicated to representing Colorado citizens.”
“I was delighted to have been able to assemble such an extraordinarily diverse group of engaged Colorado women. We had a Boulder-perfect afternoon and guests had the opportunity to discuss a broad range of topics with Rosemary,” concluded Barsam Brown.
Rocky Mountain High Advocates is a wholly volunteer organization, focusing its attention on Colorado elected Members of Congress. It has assumed three distinct roles since its founding in 2005, which are to actively engage candidates to offer Armenian Genocide pledge statements; urge Members of Congress to end U.S. complicity in
Armenian Genocide denial; and offer a free community service e-newsletter addressing Armenian issues from a Colorado perspective.
In this current 112th session, RMHA is proud of its accomplishments. In April the organization solicited commemoration statements from the Colorado Delegation. Both Senators and five House Members released testimonials exclusively to RMHA. In 2005, Colorado had one House member on the Armenian Genocide resolution and no Armenian Caucus members. Today, Colorado boasts five House members on the Armenian Genocide resolution; one House member on the Return of Churches resolution; and five Armenian Caucus members.