LOS ANGELES—Having witnessed first-hand the tenacity and passion Elen Asatryan possesses for civic engagement and the Democratic Party, Los Angeles Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and David Ryu, Burbank Councilmembers Bob Frutos and Jess Talamantes, Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins, and former Glendale City Mayor and current City Treasurer Rafi Manoukian, announced their respective endorsements for Elen’s momentous grassroots campaign to secure a seat on the Democratic County Central Committee.
The city officials have worked closely alongside Elen during her two-decade-long political activism and advocacy career.
“I have known Elen for over 20 years, since she was just 16-years-old. Not only is Elen a champion for the Democratic Party, but she has also led one of the largest advocacy organizations in our community. Elen is an honest and resilient activist who fights for Democratic values, proper representation, and civil and human rights. She has also led many successful campaigns and community initiatives, and she will be a valued addition to the County Central Committee,” stated Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
“I’m grateful for the overwhelming support received by organizations and community leaders with whom I have a shared vision for governing that includes an emphasis on encouraging public participation in the civic process, government transparency, and ensuring that underrepresented communities have a seat at the table,” said Asatryan. “Volunteering, and then eventually working, on both Councilmember Krekorian and former Glendale Mayor Manoukian’s campaigns sparked my passion for politics and public service early on. These endorsements are both humbling and a reminder of the values I hope to bring to LACDP,” she added.
As a first-generation immigrant, Elen, with her family, moved from Armenia to Glendale at the age of 10, where she then attended Columbus Elementary School, Toll Middle School, and Hoover High School. Elen was a 15-year-old when she volunteered on her first political campaign, and she never stopped championing for causes or candidates from that point forward. Elen went on to graduate from the University of California Los Angeles, where she studied Political Science with concentrations in American Politics and International Relations then serving as Executive Director of advocacy organizations overseeing 19 western U.S. states. In 2017, she founded The Stark Group—a consulting firm specializing in public affairs, nonprofits, and political campaigns.
Dedicated to empowering youth, Elen founded and led internship and mentorship programs for high school and college students, the first Armenian-American Sacramento based Walter and Laurel Karabian public policy fellowship program for recent college graduates. She also spearheaded the Path to College Program to help non-English speaking parents navigate the school system and provide a pipeline of support for students to graduate high school and complete the college admissions process successfully.
“I am excited for Elen Asatryan’s candidacy for the County Central Committee, and I am proud to endorse her. Throughout her career, Elen has invested her time and energy into empowering the community, with great results. When she is elected to the Central Committee, I am confident that Elen will continue to be a champion for social justice,” commented David Ryu, Los Angeles Councilmember District 4.
“While working for the City of Glendale and in my current role as the elected Burbank City Clerk, I have had the pleasure of working with Elen on many community projects. I found her to be very committed, dedicated, highly energetic, and always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. I am honored to support and endorse Elen for the Democratic County Central Committee,” commented Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins.
In her mission to ensure that all voters, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and economic background have equal access to the democratic process, Elen developed and implemented voter registration and ‘Get Out the Vote’ initiatives resulting in over 50,000 newly registered voters in two years’ time in L.A. county alone and record-breaking voter turnout in some of the most heated local, state, and federal elections. Elen continues her service to voter inclusivity by serving on both the Los Angeles Voter Outreach Committee and Los Angeles City Votes Voter Outreach and Education Committee.
“Elen was fifteen 15-years-old when her dad used to drop her off at our campaign office. She worked for hours and hours almost every day and when her dad came, he would have to sit and wait outside for her to be ready to leave. She would not leave voluntarily, she had to be forced to leave so her dad could go home,” remarked former Glendale City Mayor and current City Treasurer Rafi Manoukian at a recent campaign event.
“Elen has been involved in political campaigns and the fight for minority rights, human rights, and recognition from the first day that I remember her and I believe that she will continue that. When you look at candidates and talk about elections, don’t vote for a person who makes a promise, vote for the individual based on their character. Elen is the most hardworking and dedicated individual to the Democratic ideals, and she has my confidence and support,” continued former Glendale City Mayor and current City Treasurer Rafi Manoukian.
These endorsements follow endorsements from Senator Anthony Portantino, former CA Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the East Area Progressive Democrats, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region and its local chapters Glendale, Burbank, Crescenta Valley, and Hollywood, the Southern California Armenian Democrats, the Armenian Rights Council of America, Los Angeles City College Board of Trustees President Andra Hoffman, Vice President Steve Veres, and Trustee Mike Fong, Glendale Unified School District Board of Education President Jennifer Freemon and members Shant Sahakian and Nayiri Nahabedian, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Member Scott Schmerelson, Glendale Community College Board Trustee Ann Ransford and Former GCC Board of Trustees President Anita Gabrielian, Burbank Board of Education President Armond Aghakhanian and member Steve Ferguson, Burbank Teachers Association President Diana Abasta, and others. The full list of endorsements is available online.
The election for the Democratic County Central Committee will take place between February 22 and March 3 at 1,000 vote centers across L.A. County. Registered Democrats residing in State Assembly District 43, and those who have declined to state a political party but have requested a Democratic ballot, will see Asatryan’s name on their ballot.
For voters who have selected the option to vote by mail, ballots started arriving in mailboxes as of February 4. Elen Asatryan’s name may be found on page 3, 4 or 5 of the ballot.
For those not yet registered to vote, same-day voter registration is available in person at any vote center between February 22 and March 3. To register to vote, update voter information and political party preference, request a vote by mail ballot or find your nearest vote center.
The DCCC is the official governing body of the Democratic Party in Los Angeles County. It is also the largest local Democratic Party entity in the United States, representing nearly 2.7 million Democrats in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County – a population larger than 42 individual states.
The 43rd State Assembly District encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta-Montrose, and parts of Los Angeles including Hollywood Hills, East Hollywood, Little Armenia, Franklin Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village (90027, 90029, 90068 and most of 90039).
To learn more about, get involved in, and contribute to Asatryan’s campaign, visit the campaign’s website. For up to the minute updates, follow the campaign’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ElectElen.