ANC of Illinois wraps up first round of meetings with elected officials

The Chicago Christapor Gomideh of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) hopes that all of you are staying safe during this pandemic with the hopes that we can meet as a community in our centers as soon as possible without fear or anxiety. With that said, please do not forget about what is happening in our homeland. 

Over 200 POWs continue to be tortured and abused by Azeri authorities. Azerbaijan is setting up customs checkpoints on the Goris/Kapan road, in Armenia. Meetings are conducted at the highest levels with our enemies without knowing what is being discussed or negotiated. Armenia’s government is consistently overlooking the constitution when making decisions within parliament. Opposition parties continue to be oppressed.

Over the last several weeks, members of the Chicago Christapor Gomideh and the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Illinois have been discussing these aforementioned issues with elected officials.

Pictured clockwise from top left: ANC of Illinois member Kenneth Hachikian, Anoush Bargamian, Marshele Bryant, Thomas Buechele

On December 17, 2021, the ANC of Illinois began its series of meetings and met with Congressman Mike Quigley’s staffer, Marshele Bryant. ANC of Illinois member Kenneth Hachikian led the meeting along with constituents of the 5th District in attendance, Thomas Buechele and ARF member Anoush Bargamian. 

The final scheduled meeting occurred on January 18, 2022 with Congressman Sean Casten of  Illinois’ 6th District and his staffer of foreign affairs, Amanda Schafer. Hachikian was again present and led the meeting along with constituents of the 6th District, ARF members Hagop Soulakian and Armen Alexanian. This was the second meeting with Rep. Casten’s office but the first with him.

The ANC of Illinois has also met with the following US Representatives or their staff members: Rep. Marie Newman of the 3rd District, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of the 8th District, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of the 9th District and Rep. Brad Schneider of the 10th District.

In all meetings, discussion included the history and geography of Armenia and Artsakh; the Armenian Genocide; the 2020 war imposed on Artsakh by Azerbaijan with the full aid of Turkey and its mercenaries; the continuing war crimes by Azerbaijan against Armenian civilians/POWs; the destruction of hospitals and kindergartens; and the use of chemical weapons.  

The ANC of Illinois stressed the importance of the representatives’ firm stance in holding Azerbaijan and Turkey accountable by supporting the ANCA-backed pro-accountability measures, in both the FY22 Defense and Foreign Aid bills. These measures include: stop U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan; investigate Azerbaijani war crimes; report on Turkey’s killer drone; and outlaw Turkey’s Grey Wolves.

The response from all of the representatives was positive, but now we have to see what type of action they take to back up their words. These meetings are always beneficial to our cause as we must continue to be vigilant and do what we can to support our brothers and sisters in our homeland by attempting to protect our sovereignty and working for justice. We are currently trying to schedule meetings with Bobby Rush Il-1, Cheri Bustos Il-17, Lauren Underwood Il-14, Bill Foster Il-11 and Robin Kelly Il-2.

We are encouraging more constituents to assist the ANC of Illinois in these meetings. If you’d like to participate, please fill out this form or email [email protected] with any questions.

ANCA-Eastern Region
The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region is part of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organization, the ANCA. Working in coordination with the ANCA in Washington, DC, and a network of chapters and supporters throughout the Eastern United States, the ANCA-ER actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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