Pasadena, CA–The city known nationally for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade was the site of a town hall meeting on grassroots political involvement recently organized by the local Pasadena chapter of the Armenian National Committee.
The town hall meeting featured Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhianm who discussed why all citizens, including Armenian Americans, have a responsibility to be involved in local government affairs. The gathering drew broad spectrum of community members, some longtime activists and others new to the community.
“Today we touched on the importance of grassroots action and the need to be involved locally with our city council and other local officials. We plan to hold more town hall meetings–and future meetings will touch on other interesting topics designed to engage our community members and get them involved," remarked Pasadena ANC leader Dikran Tabakian.
“Our town hall meeting this evening was all about serving the community," he said. "The idea is simple. We need to educate our community, motivate them and finally, we need to activate them to support worthwhile activities.”
In his remarks during the town hall meeting, Kassakhian reflected on his own history of grassroots involvement, from registering voters as a volunteer to organizing the community as the executive director of the Armenian National Committee’s Western Region office. He cited a number of examples of how an energized and motivated group of Armenian Americans can bring positive change to their local government.
Kassakhian made clear that failing to be involved in local government affairs in Pasadena and elsewhere is not an acceptable option. “If you want to play a positive role in the future of your city, you have to be involved."
The ANC of Pasadena advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.