VAN NUYS, CA – San Fernando Valley Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) pledged to stand strong against escalating Turkish Government lobby efforts to defeat the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252), as the House Foreign Affairs Committee prepares to mark-up the measure on March 4th, reported the Armenian National Committee Western Region.
Representatives of the Armenian National Committee – West San Fernando Valley (ANC West SFV) and Armenian National Committee – Western Region (ANC-WR) discussed Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide and a broad range of community concerns during a meeting Rep. Sherman (D-CA) at his Van Nuys district office earlier this week. The meeting was led by ANC-WR Government Relations Director Lerna Shirinian and Chairman of the ANC West SFV, Nareg Kitsinian.
Serving as senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Sherman noted his commitment to working with his colleagues in Congress to continue building support for H. Res. 252 and ensuring a victory in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Rep. Sherman’s active support for the Armenian Genocide Resolution is exactly the strong moral leadership we need to bring America back to the right side on this important human rights issue,” stated ANC-WR Government Relations Director Lerna Shirinian. “We look forward to working with the Congressman on this and other initiatives to help end the cycle of genocide,” she added.
Since his election to office in 1997, Rep. Sherman has been outspoken in his calls on the Turkish Government to deal honestly with its genocidal past and end the international campaign of denial. . During remarks at the ANCA’s “End the Cycle of Genocide” commemorative event in Washington, DC, Rep. Sherman argued, “Where would America be if we said, ‘slavery – it didn’t really happen.’ Where would America be if we said ‘there was no effort to destroy particular Native American tribes during the 1700 and 1800s.’ Where would America be if we failed to acknowledge our own history? Where would Germany be if it failed to acknowledge its history? Why does Turkey think it can reach the modern world if it still anchors itself to an Ottoman mentality? It cannot do that. The future of Turkey is in acknowledging the history of its own people.”
He has been a vocal advocate of expanded U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, challenging former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the Bush Administration’s call for a significant reduction in aid to Armenia in its FY09 budget during her appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee in 2008.
“Congressman Sherman has been a powerful and eloquent advocate for a strong U.S.-Armenia relationship and just resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict,” said Nareg Kitsinian, Chairman of the ANC West SFV. “We are proud to have him representing our community in Congress.”
H.Res.252, introduced in March of 2009 by lead sponsors Adam Schiff and George Radanovich (R-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), currently has over 137 cosponsors. A parallel Senate measure, spearheaded by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Ensign (R-NV), has 13 cosponsors. Efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide have been welcomed by a broad range of coalition partners from the Greek, Jewish, Christian and genocide-prevention constituencies. Congressman Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee recently announced that a vote on H.Res.252 will be take place on March 4th of this year, following a year-long mobilization of the ANCA and Armenian American grassroots activists across the country.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo caption: ANC-WR Government Relations Director Lerna Kayserian Shirinian, Congressman Brad Sherman, ANC of West San Fernando Valley Chairman Nareg Kitsinian.