LOS ANGELES–If Webster’s Dictionary had a photo under its definition of “grassroots organization” it would be of members of the West San Fernando Valley chapter of the Armenian National Committee (WSFV-ANC). This ANC chapter has, for decades, well served the nearly 100,000 Armenian Americans who live and work in southern California’s San Fernando Valley. By employing a grassroots approach to public affairs that unites the community, the WSFV-ANC has successfully represented Armenian Americans in a wide region encompassing Encino, Granada Hills, Northridge, Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, among other areas.
"The WSFV-ANC is committed to encouraging Armenian Americans to participate in their local community,” stated WSFV Chairman Nishan Bostanian. “Whether volunteering for a neighborhood councilman or encouraging members of the community to register to vote, our goal is to raise awareness on issues of concern to Armenian Americans,” the Chairman added.
Over the years, the WSFV-ANC has attracted a collection of vibrant and dynamic community activists, who understand that you need to have a high degree of grassroots involvement to succeed. The ANC chapter has been involved in outreach efforts with local officials like Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, state officials like Assemblymember Lloyd Levine and area Members of Congress, such as Brad Sherman. Aside from maintaining strong ties with various local, state and Congressional offices, the WSFV-ANC has begun plans for a massive voter registration campaign to increase the civic participation of Armenian Americans in the San Fernando Valley.
This year the WSFV-ANC has worked extensively with Jewish World Watch in promoting awareness of the current genocide in Darfur and the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide. Earlier this year the chapter participated in a “Walk for Darfur” to raise awareness of the ongoing genocide in Sudan. The chapter has also sponsored press conferences, including one with Congressman Brad Sherman in support of the genocide awareness film “Screamers.”
As previously noted, the WSFV-ANC is initiating an aggressive voter registration campaign to increase awareness of the civic process and the role that citizens play in electing their government representatives. The goal of the campaign is to double the number of registered Armenian American voters in the San Fernando Valley.
The San Fernando Valley is home to nearly 1.7 million residents, including a growing and prosperous Armenian American community. The WSFV-ANC is committed to expanding its efforts to reach out to all Armenian Americans as new and old residents look to continue or become involved in local government.