ANCA Local Grassroots Seminar inspires and educates rising Armenian American leaders

Participants converse with John Hairabedian, former mayor of Sierra Madre and candidate for the California State Senate.

GLENDALE, Calif. A broad and diverse group of rising Armenian American high school and university students gathered for an Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Local Grassroots Seminar on May 13, 2023. The gathering was co-sponsored by the ARF Shant Student Association and drew a number of Armenian American students who are interested in working in the field of politics and learning more about how the ANCA works on the local, state and federal levels to advance the Armenian Cause across the United States. The ANCA Local Grassroots Seminar included the participation of a number of community leaders, political activists, local elected officials and individuals seeking public office.

Ardashes Kassakhian, Glendale City Councilmember, converses with fellow participants.

“The ANCA was pleased to convene this productive and forward-looking seminar to provide ladders of opportunity to young Armenian Americans exploring a career in politics,” remarked ANCA National Board member Zanku Armenian. “The seminar offered a welcome opportunity for emerging Armenian American leaders to learn – first hand – what life is like if you choose to pursue a career in American politics,” Armenian added.

ANCA chairman Raffi Hamparian shares the ANCA 360 and describes Armenian advocacy on the federal level.

The impressive lineup of speakers at the ANCA Local Grassroots Seminar featured a number of ANCA leaders, including ANCA National chair Raffi Hamparian, ANCA Hollywood chair Lara Yeretsian and ANCA Orange County chair Garo Madenlian. Leading the dialogue on a session entitled “What it Takes to Work in Politics and Run for Office” were Glendale City Councilmember Ardashes Kassakhian, former Sierra Madre mayor and candidate for California State Senate John Hairabedian and respected political consultant Natalie Bruton-Yenovkian. The speakers drew on their vast personal experiences to encourage those in attendance to consider a career in politics – whether as a public official, political staffer or lobbyist.

Lara Yeretsian, ANCA Hollywood Chair, and Natalie Bruton-Yenovkian, and Baydsar Thomasian, respected political consultants, speak with participants.

“This ANCA Local Grassroots Seminar is the first of many forums we are planning this year to educate, motivate, and activate Armenian Americans who are eager to enter the political arena,” remarked event organizers and ARF Shant Student Association members Kevork Madenlian and Areni Hamparian. “We believe that more than ever – especially with the critical situation in Armenia and Artsakh – Armenian Americans have a unique opportunity to effectively help our homeland through direct advocacy on the local, state and federal levels. This seminar and future gatherings will help provide the tools that will empower Armenian American students to advocate for the Armenian Cause,” they added.

Kevork Madenlian, ARF Shant Gomideh member, offers opening remarks to participants.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots 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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