LOS ANGELES— Friends of the Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region held a fundraising event in support of California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis’s re-election campaign. The event was attended by friends of ANCA-WR, ANCA-WR board members, and representatives of the Armenian American community in California.
“Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis has been a dedicated friend to the Armenian-American community, so we are proud to support her re-election,” remarked Chair of the ANCA-WR Board of Directors, Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “We are grateful for the Lieutenant Governor’s principled positions on the Armenian Genocide and Artsakh over the years and her dedication to the empowerment of Armenian-Americans in California.”
During the event, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis had an honest discussion about issues concerning the Armenian community in California, including the integration challenges faced by Armenian immigrants, the challenges facing Armenian youth in California, the rising levels of cost-of-living, poverty and homelessness, as well as the security threats posed by Turkey and Azerbaijan against the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh.
“It has been an honor to represent California’s vibrant Armenian community during my tenure as Lieutenant Governor,” said Kounalakis during the event. “The contributions Armenian-Americans have made to our state over generations is a testament to their hard work and their dedication to the pursuit of the American Dream.”
Kounalakis, who previously served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013, was the first Greek-American woman ever to serve as a U.S. ambassador, and is the author of “Madam Ambassador: Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties, and Democracy in Budapest.”
During the fundraising event, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis recalled the events of August 2012, when Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán suddenly repatriated Ramil Safarov, an Azeri serving a life term in Hungary for hacking an Armenian soldier (Lt. Gurgen Margaryan) to death during a NATO-sponsored training program. She reiterated that PM Orban’s decision to repatriate the axe murderer to Azerbaijan ended Hungary’s two-decade status as a reliable strategic partner of the United States.
The fundraising event in support of Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis was hosted at the prestigious City Club of Los Angeles by longtime ANCA-WR supporter Michael Mahdesian. Mahdesian is currently Chairman of the Board of Servicon Systems, Inc., a business based in Los Angeles. He has previously served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Response between 1993 and 2000 and was the former Executive Director of the United Armenian Fund’s airlift to the 1988 earthquake victims in Armenia.
“We thank Mr. Mahdesian for his forty-years of support to ANCA-WR’s efforts to deliver justice for the Armenian Genocide and security to the people of Armenia and Artsakh,” said Levon Kirakosian, Esq., ANCA-WR Board Advisor.
The ANCA-WR endorsed Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis on April 19, 2022. The primary elections are set to take place on June 7, while the General Elections are scheduled for November 8.
Over the past several months, ANCA-WR has been announcing its endorsements as it works tirelessly to ensure issues of significance to the Armenian-American community are addressed by candidates ahead of the upcoming elections.
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.