BY ARAM HAMPARIAN
ANCA Executive Director
Did you know that the ANCA advances issues of special concern to Armenian Americans by engaging with elected officials, decision-makers, interest groups, and concerned citizens across the American political and policy landscape – left to right, hawks and doves, Democrats and Republican?
Here are some examples of how the ANCA, amid all the divisiveness of modern American civic life – finds common ground with a remarkably diverse set of stakeholders on our core Armenian American foreign policy priorities, freedom for Artsakh, justice for the Armenian Genocide, and stronger U.S.-Armenia relations.
- Foreign policy hawks (who prioritize hard power): Enforcing U.S. sanctions against Turkey over its increasingly anti-American conduct.
- Foreign policy doves (who prioritize diplomacy): Supporting the pro-dialogue U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution.
- Genocide and atrocities prevention community (lead by the FCNL/Quakers): Adopting the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act.
- Environmental movement: Advancing the Haiti and Armenia Reforestation Act to help these two nations restore their historic levels of forest cover.
- IT innovators and educators: Promoting a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math education MCC grant for Armenia’s public schools.
- Business community: Promoting increased U.S.-Armenia trade and investment, via a new Double Tax Treaty, TIFA, Social Security Agreement, and other accords.
- Anti-mine movement: Appropriating funds for HALO Trust’s life-saving demining and mine-education work in the Artsakh Republic.
- International development community: Securing U.S. humanitarian, technical, and democracy aid to Armenia and Artsakh (to date, over $2.5 billion).
- Arms control community: Limiting reckless U.S. weapons sales and transfers to the Turkish and Azerbaijani militaries.
- Conflict-resolution community: Deploying Royce-Engel gunfire locators and additional observers along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan line of contact.
- Advocates for democratic self-determination: Securing state level recognition of Artsakh by California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island.
- Human rights advocates: Promoting H.Res.537 and other legislation imposing human rights-based economic sanctions on Azerbaijan and Turkey.
- Holocaust and Genocide educators: Teaching the Armenian Genocide in California, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Illinois, and other states.
- International religious freedom movement: Supporting “Return of Churches” legislation, the freedom of Pastor Andrew Brunson, and the rights of Middle East Christians and other religious communities.
- Pro-peacekeeping groups: Supporting Armenia’s participation in U.S./NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, and Mali.
- Tourism and commercial aviation interests: Promoting economically viable non-stop Los Angeles-Yerevan commercial and cargo flights.
- American cultural institutions: Sponsoring the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia exhibit on the National Mall (including screenings of The Promise and Intent to Destroy).
- Pentagon and the U.S. defense community: Supporting U.S. military aid and military-to-military cooperation with Armenia, including via the Kansas National Guard.
- Pro-Hellenic legislators and leaders: Ending Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus as part of a broader effort to curb its aggressive posture toward Armenia, Greece, Cyprus and other regional states.
- Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac community: Helping Armenia serve as a safe haven for Christians and other religious minorities fleeing regional violence and unrest.
- Pro-Kurdish community: Defending the rights, interests, and aspirations of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey.
- U.S. industry and manufacturers: Challenging Turkey’s undeserved preferential treatment of exports to the United States.
- Nuclear disarmament community: Seeking the redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons currently stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base.
- Law enforcement: Pressing for the extradition of Erdogan bodyguards charged with assaulting peaceful U.S. protesters at Sheridan Circle in May of 2017.
- College students and recent graduates – Helping young Armenian Americans start public policy, political, media, and government careers in Washington.
On these issues, and many others, the ANCA constantly leverages coalitions, cooperating with a divers array of stakeholders.
If you have ideas for how we can better engage with any of these interests, or – even better – suggestions about how we might undertake new cooperation with any other groups, please drop us a note at [email protected] or share your recommendations on your favorite social media platforms.
For a full review of the ANCA’s strategic priorities, record of results, and current advocacy objectives, visit www.anca.org/anca360pdf.