* Week-long visit to Los Angeles highlighted by AYF Camp lecture.
LOS ANGELES–Steve Samuelian–District Director for US Representative George Radanovich (R-Mariposa) recently concluded a week-long visit to Los Angeles that included several meetings with political–religious–media–and community leaders in the area–reported the Armenian National Committee-Western Region. Samuelian was in Los Angeles from July 30-August 4.
Samuelian’s visit was highlighted by his visit to the Armenian Youth Federation summer camp in Wrightwood–where he was the guest lecturer for the day to the hundreds of young Armenian-American campers.
Samuelian spoke about political involvement in the American political system and about the sacrifices made by Armenia’s both during the Genocide and during the Karabakh war–challenging the campers to become activists and to participate actively in the American political system.
Samuelian’s meetings in Los Angeles included interviews on ANC-TV and other Armenian television programs. The Central Valley political leader also met with Asbarez Armenian Daily newspaper Executive Editor John Kossakian and English Editor Ara Khachatourian.
In a lengthy conversation with Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–the two leaders spoke about issues of importance to the Armenian-American community and issues facing Armenia’s in Congress. Samuelian and Mardirossian have a long-standing friendship dating back several years–and they continue to work with each other on issues of great importance to the Armenian American community in the Western United States.
During the course of the week–Samuelian had the opportunity to meet with a number of organizational representatives including representatives of the Western Region office of the Armenian Assembly of America; Western Diocese Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–ARF Western US Central Committee representative Bedig Kazandjian–Armenian Democratic League (Ramgavar) representative Ara Aharonian–and Social Democratic Hunchakian representative Peter Darakjian–as well as Armenian American Republican Council representative Albert Abkarian. The meeting was organized by Western Diocese Chairman Dr. Varouj Altebarmakiana close friend and advisor to Rep. Radanovich.
Discussing issues of importance to the Armenian American community both on local–as well as national level was a major motivation of Samuelian’s visit to Los Angeles.
His meetings with community leaders included visits with community activist and benefactor Jake Shirvanian–Armenian Observer editor Osheen Keshishian–and attorney Garo Mardirossian–as well as community leader David Demurdjian.
In meetings with the AARC’s leadership–including Chairwoman Rita Topalian–Samuelian–who is a 12-year member of the State Republican Party’s Executive Committee–discussed the GOP’s role in California.
Samuelian also met with prominent and leading Latino community leaders Luis Valenzuela and Victor Griego. The three activists and leaders discussed a number of issues regarding the political landscape of 2002 elections and working together on areas of mutual interest.
Recently honored with the Young Republican Federation of California "Founder’s Award" at their state convention in Bakersfield–Samuelian has been a long time leader in community–political and Armenian community affairs. As the Chairman of the Fresno County United Way Leadership Giving Campaign–Samuelian raised a record-breaking amount of funds for the United Way to help the poor and underprivileged of the Central Valley.
For his work leading the campaign–Samuelian was recently honored with the United Way "Oustanding Board Member" award. Samuelian is a Board member of the Clovis District Chamber of Commerce–the Fresno Area Crimestoppers–and a graduate and Class President of the Fresno Chamber’s "Leadership Fresno" Class XVI. Additionally–Samuelian was awarded a special recognition award from His Holiness Karekin II at a recent Pontifical banquet in Fresno.
Samuelian resides in Clovis with his wife Houry–a teacher with Fresno Unified and their 15-month-old son Shant Yeremia. n California legislature will announce new districts on September 1.