GLENDALE–The Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee hosted a banquet Monday night at the Brandview Collection to welcome newly-elected City councilmen Gus Gomez and Rafi Manoukian–who were greeted by more than 250 community members–leaders and city officials.
Both Gomez and Manoukian thanked the Glendale ANC and the Armenian community for their support in during the elections and pledged to work closely with the community in addressing issues which confront all of Glendale.
The honorees were invited to address the gathering–each thanking the Armenian community for its support and participation in the election process.
Gomez expressed confidence to continue his cooperation with the ANC and the Armenian community–and–borrowing a phrase his colleague Manoukian’s campaign–pledged to work for all of Glendale.
Manoukian stressed that common bond among all people was their individuality–adding that in order to understand the uniqueness of approaches–open channels of communications were imperative.
Manoukian also added that upon taking office he worked closely with his colleagues–the city manager and the mayor to ensure a proper commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in the city. He reported that all flags will be lowered to half-staff on April 24 to mark the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Both councilmembers reported that their first week on the job progressed smoothly and praised the staff and the city manager for accommodating their needs.
Present at the gathering were Glendale Mayor Ginger Bremberg; City Council members Sheldon Baker and Dave Weaver; City Manager Jim Starbird; Glendale Police Chief Russel Siverling; Superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District Jim Brown; Assistant Superintendent Alice Petrossian; Glendale Police Department Public Information Officer Chahe Keuroghelian; Glendale Chamber of Commerce president Berdj Karapetian; former Councilman Larry Zarian; former Chamber of Commerce president and a friend of the Armenian-American community Frank Quintero; editor of the Glendale News-Press Richard Arthur; and the chairman of American-Hellenic Association Aris Anagnos.
Rep. James Rogan was represented by Gregory Krikorian and State Senator Adam Schiff was represented by Mannik Khachatrian.
Also present at the gathering were Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Father Raphael Minassian of the Catholic Community–representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee–members of the ANCA-WR Board of Directors–Rev. Razmig Khachadourian of the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church–as well as the church Board of Trustees; representatives of the Armenian Relief Society–the Homenetmen–the Hamazkayine–the Armenian Youth Federation–the Armenian Youth Association of California–as well as representatives of Asbarez newspaper and Horizon television.
The program began with the singing of the US and Armenian national anthems by Garen Gharibian–accompanied on the piano by Armen Aharonian–following which Bishop Mardirossian said the invocation.
Master of Ceremonies Ara Khachatourian introduced the officials and guests and discussed the mission of the ANC–explaining that the organization was an international organization with chapters throughout the world–with a mission to marshall the aspirations of the Armenian people.
He discussed the grass-roots activities of the organization–citing efforts to maintain a ban on US aid to Azerbaijan and garnering recognition for the Armenian Genocide by the US government as some of the ANC’s top priorities.
Locally–he said–the ANC had the task to educate and acclimate the Armenian community to the American political process. He outlined the "Get out the vote" campaign initiated in Glendale for the City Council elections–reporting that on election day more than 50 percent of the Glendale’s Armenian voter base participated in the elections.
Khachatourian made special mention of the community–praising it for its diligent activism and participation in the election process and thanking them for honoring the ANC and attending the banquet.