On Sun., July 14, members of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Rhode Island held a breakfast meeting with Congressman David Cicilline (D-District 1) in North Providence as part of their “Elected Officials Summer Outreach Program,” which aims to discuss issues of concern to the community with members of Rhode Island’s general officers and federal delegation.
Congressman Cicilline is a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee. His long, unparalleled record of support began when he served in the Rhode Island State Legislature, and continued in his post of mayor of Providence and then in Congress, where he has championed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the independence of Artsakh on the floor of the House of Representatives. Congressman Cicilline was one of the lead sponsors of a recent House Resolution calling on the Turkish government to return Christian church properties to their rightful owners.
On the occasion of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Washington on May 16, Cicilline issued the following the following statement: “Two million Armenian men, women, and children living under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire were systematically slaughtered or forced to leave their homeland. There is no doubt that this heinous, organized assault on the Armenian people constituted the first genocide of the 20th century. And yet, even today, nearly a hundred years later, the Turkish government continues to ignore the preponderance of evidence and deny a historical reality.”
The Congressman’s Washington staff includes Lisa Sarkisian-Tatarian, who serves as a link to the Armenian community in his district.
The ANC-RI representatives at the breakfast meeting were Chairperson Ani Haroian, who served on then-Mayor Cicilline’s senior staff as director of community relations, and was also on his campaign staff; Steve Mesrobian, who currently serves on both the ANC Eastern Region Board as well as the ANCA National Board; and Steve Elmasian, who served on the staff of former Rhode Island Secretary of State James Langevin, the current Congressman for Rhode Island District 2, and who is now on staff with Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.
The meeting afforded the ANC-RI delegation an opportunity to thank Congressman Cicilline for his steadfast support, and allowed both sides to pledge to continue to work together in the future.