Over the past half-century, the Armenian American community has grown and developed as an amalgam of ideals, geographic locations and worldviews. The various ideologies that influence our personal interactions, however, do not overtake the true cause that we support day in and day out—Hai Tahd (the Armenian Cause). As a result, our community has emerged as one of the strongest diasporan groups in the United States.
It is by no means a stretch to say that it takes a strong leader, and true ally of the Armenian American community, to champion and support the priorities that make up Hai Tahd, or the Armenian Cause, while working for the best interests of his constituents and Armenians around the world.
Fortunately for the Armenian Americans in New York, and across the U.S., that leader can be found in Representative Eliot Engel (NY-16) who currently serves as Chairman of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Hai Tahd is oftentimes simplified to signify the struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. But Hai Tahd is not just “recognition for the Genocide;” it is so much more. It is continued aid to Artsakh, bilateral tax treaties between Armenia and the US, and genocide education in all states. It is a safe and secure border for our Armenian Nation, recognition of the self-determination of Artsakh, and the list continues. In other words, our priorities as a community are not so single-minded as genocide recognition. They are nuanced, salient and representative of the diverse Diaspora they represent.
Chairman Engel, a legislator who represents the local Armenian American community in the north Bronx and south Westchester County understands, supports, and leads the way as a critical voice on Capitol Hill. He provided crucial testimony during the proceedings for H.Res.296—the Armenian Genocide Resolution—last year and was one of the driving forces behind its passage. He co-authored the Royce-Engel peace proposal for the just resolution for the Republic of Artsakh, which includes a cessation of cease-fire violations by Azerbaijani forces along the line of contact as they seek a violent settlement to the situation. He has visited Armenia and been a consistent, strong voice in support of everything we value. In doing so, he has consistently received A+ grades from the ANCA. As a result, I wholeheartedly support Chairman Engel in his re-election, and I urge you to do the same.
Unfortunately, Chairman Engel faces perhaps the most difficult primary election of his career this year. So, it is time our community comes together to support the man that has proven to be a staunch ally and true friend. It is time to make our voices heard once again for a man who has demonstrated time and time again how important Armenian American priorities are to him, a man who has shown he will always be an impenetrable bulwark against those who would see us wiped from history.
Here’s what you can do to help:
Vote in the upcoming primary election. If you’re a resident of New York’s 16th Congressional district, request your absentee ballot for the primary election.
Donate to Representative Engel’s campaign.
Make calls. Help urge the registered voters in New York’s 16th Congressional district to vote! You can register to volunteer for the Engel campaign.
We invite you to learn more about Chairman Engel’s stance on Armenian issues by checking out his ANCA Report Card. He’s been a steadfast supporter of not only his community, but of the Armenian people and nation.