LOS ANGELES—Some 100 Armenian community leaders and activists met with Oregon Labor Commissioner and Congressional candidate Brad Avakian on Thursday, August 4, to discuss a broad range of issues that are of concern to the Armenian American community. The event was jointly hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) and the Southern California Armenian Democrats (SCAD), and took place at the Fine Arts Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
Avakian emphasized his commitment to advancing issues of significance to the Armenian community if elected to Congress. “Growing up, I learned the importance of always putting family first,” said Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. “Those same values are why I am running for Congress: looking out for families struggling to get by and trying to provide their children with a better future. I know those same values run deep throughout the Armenian-American community and I am proud to have their support.”
On Sunday, August 7, 2011, the San Francisco Bay Area Armenian National Committee (Bay Area ANC), in partnership with the ANCA-WR, also hosted a reception for Avakian. More than 75 community members attended the event to hear about Avakian’s background and his bid to represent Oregon’s 1st Congressional District.
“Brad Avakian’s efforts to work with the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region affirm our grassroots leadership in the Armenian American community, and we applaud Avakian’s proactive approach in meeting with Armenian constituents throughout the state of California,” said ANCA-WR Board Member Raffi Kassabian.
Brad Avakian was born in Fresno, CA before moving to Oregon. His grandfather had moved to Fresno from Moush in 1898 and his grandmother had moved to Fresno from Bitlis in 1900. He graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Psychology before receiving his Juris Doctorate from Lewis and Clark Law School. He was a Civil rights attorney before being elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2002 and was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2006. In 2008, he was appointed by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski as the Commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
In April of 2011, Avakian announced his intention to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Special Primary is November 8, 2011 and the General Election in on January 31, 2012. Oregon elections require that all registered voters submit their ballots by mail.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.