November 18, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Karine Birazian
tel: (917) 428-1918

ANC Activists Across the Region Take Part in
Election Victory

ANCPAC Sends Direct Mail in Support of Menendez

Eastern Region, US- With great success by almost all Armenian National Committee- endorsed candidates, ANC chapters throughout the east coast were doing their part to see supporters of our cause win seats in Congress. Close victory races such as Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and newly elected Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island were due in part to the quick and collective response from the Armenian community, reported the Armenian National Committee, Eastern Region.

Overseeing more than thirty states, the Eastern Region worked as a team to serve on the frontlines in most of the battling races. “It was amazing to see how each ANC chapter did their part when it came down to the final weeks of the election. We truly made an impact this year, and it just goes to show how powerful a grassroots organization can be,” commented Karine Birazian, ANC Eastern Region Executive Director.

Beginning with the ANC of Illinois and moving east in all directions, where there was an active ANC chapter, there was work to be done. AYF activists in the northern suburbs of Illinois put in dozens of hours helping out close races for both Republican incumbent Mark Kirk and Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean. Making phone calls to get the word out to vote, preparing signs and other tasks, both races were very close, and both candidates are supportive on our issues. Nora Najarian, AYF member and ANC activist discovered first hand the importance of contributing support. “Working with Mark Kirk’s campaign I felt that I was helping not only reelect an individual with an important agenda but an individual who supports and is attentive to the Chicago-Armenian community.
It is important for us to understand that taking part and being active with our congressional elections is important for the Armenian cause. I felt a great satisfaction knowing that I helped with the campaign process,” commented Najarian after the election.

Moving northeast to Michigan, the ANC spent time hosting fundraisers and events for their local officials. Hosting a successful event for Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, as well as encouraging the Armenian community to vote for ANCA endorsed candidates, the ANC of Michigan spent time leafleting for several elected officials.

Over in the Mid Atlantic, the well-respected junior senator of New Jersey, Bob Menendez fought a tough race, and the ANC of New Jersey stood right beside him. Menendez’s courageous action in putting a hold on the nomination of Ambassador designate Richard Hoagland sparked nationwide support for his re-election campaign. The ANCA endorsed Senator Menendez as well as 11 other congressmen in the state of New Jersey, all whom serve on the Armenian Caucus. The ANCPAC also endorsed Senator Menendez and sent out thousands of direct mail to Armenian households in New Jersey urging a vote for him. The ANC of New Jersey organized phone banks, did extensive public relations and placed ads in the Armenian press to gather support for Menendez within the entire Armenian community. Several ANC activists also showed their support and attended the Menendez victory party on election night The ANC of New York sent out get out the vote campaigns to their community calling for support for all the ANC-endorsed candidates and supplying copies of each incumbent’s ANCA report card.

Heading to the New England states, the ANC chapters of Massachusetts, as well as the Greater Boston AYF chapter helped with a massive “get out the vote campaign.” Over 10,000 postcards were sent out, in addition to emails and telephone calls. Having co-hosted a fundraiser for candidates for Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Tim Murray, as well as canvassing for several candidates including State Representative Rachel Kaprielian, and taking out ads in several newspapers, in the end led to a large celebration. Attending victory parties for Patrick/Murray, Kaprielian, and Senator Edward Kennedy, ANC activists had a hard time figuring out which victory party to attend.

The state of Rhode Island, where you learn rather quickly that everything is “ten minutes away” had over a dozen candidates serving on all levels in the legislature in support of Armenian issues. ANC activists volunteered within a number of campaigns, including that of challenger Sheldon Whitehouse, whose victory was key to the Democrats securing control of the US Senate. Incumbent Senator Lincoln Chafee had angered his Armenian-American constituents with his vote in support of the nomination of Ambassador Hoagland.

At their annual picnic held in mid September, the ANC of Rhode Island had a “meet the candidates” opportunity, which included a variety of elected officials and prospective candidates including Providence Mayor David Cicilline; Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty, candidate for Governor; North Providence Mayor A. Ralph Mollis, candidate for Secretary of State; Attorney General Patrick Lynch; Alan Fung, candidate for Mayor of Cranston; State Senator Frank Caprio, candidate for State Treasurer; US Senators Jack Reed and Lincoln Chafee; Sheldon Whitehouse, candidate for US Senate; Governor Donald Carcieri; US Congressman James Langevin; Cranston School Committee Member Andrea Iannazzi; Elizabeth Roberts, candidate for Lt. Governor; and Scott Avedissian, Mayor of Warwick.

Unfortunately, a few strong supporters of Armenian issues were defeated despite the efforts of local ANC activists. The ANC of Albany sent AYF activists to help with phone banking efforts and preparing mailers for Congressman John Sweeney and the ANC of Ohio endorsed challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin in Ohio’s second congressional district. The ANC of Richmond was active in get out the vote efforts for Senator George Allen in Virginia.

In the end, Armenian activists in all states did their part with encouraging friends and family to vote for those in support of our cause. Ultimately leading to a huge victory, with a new Speaker of the House, the next few years is expected to be a very exciting time for American Armenians. The ANCA will continue to strengthen and build relationships with our legislatures to promote our cause and speak out on our issues. Learn how you can make a difference and log onto www.anca.org today.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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