AAA: Pan-Armenian Conference Salutes Reps. Knollenberg, Pallone

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

May 6, 2004
CONTACT: Christine Kojoian
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Joe
Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), both well-known champions
of Armenian issues, were honored with a major public service award during a
pan-Armenian advocacy conference held in Washington last month.

The Congressmen were presented with the Armenian Assembly’s Deukmejian Award
for Public Service April 19 during a banquet at the Mayflower Hotel – part
of a three-day advocacy conference sponsored by the Armenian Assembly of
America, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and Eastern and
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church.

Event organizers devised the conference, the first of its kind, to relay to
Washington decision makers that non-partisan community leaders and
organizations are united in purpose and priorities.

Pallone, on accepting the award, said it is crucial for the community to
stand united as they advocate of behalf of Armenia and Armenian-American
issues. “The bottom line is that if you’re out there working as
Armenian-Americans pressuring Congress, meeting with your congressmen and
women, meeting with your senators, and telling them that you want the U.S.
government to be a better friend to Armenia, I think that is going to happen
primarily through your efforts,” said Pallone.

Armenian Caucus member Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) accepted the
Assembly award on behalf of Knollenberg who was unable to attend.
Knollenberg, in expressing thanks for the award, recently told the Assembly,
“By standing together and presenting a common voice, the Assembly, AGBU and
Diocese Church present a stronger case to public policymakers. Your unity of
purpose will have a very positive effect both within the Armenian community
and outside.”

Throughout their tenure in Congress, both Knollenberg and Pallone have been
steadfast supporters of issues facing the Armenian community. They have
repeatedly fought for affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, co-sponsoring
legislation that would properly recognize the cataclysm of 1915 and urging
President Bush, as well as his predecessors, to accurately characterize the
events as genocide. The Congressmen, working closely with their House
colleagues on both sides of the political aisle, have also fought for
increased funding to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, U.S.-Armenia trade
normalization, the re-opening of Armenia’s borders and maintaining Section
907 of the Freedom Support Act, among other critical issues.

Pallone, who created the Caucus in the mid-1990s, has traveled to Armenia
and Karabakh on numerous occasions, most recently with fellow Caucus member
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) as part of an Assembly-led delegation.
Knollenberg, also a frequent visitor to Armenia, earned a unique distinction
when in 2001 President Robert Kocharian awarded him the Order of Mkhitar

Since 1997, the Assembly has given the Deukmejian award, named after former
California Governor George Deukmejian, to individuals who embody the
qualities of an exemplary public servant. Among those who have received the
award are: Representatives David Dreier (R-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and John
Sweeney (R-NY), as well as Armenia’s former Minister of Trade and Industry
Garnik Nanagoulian.

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide
organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


Photograph available on the Assembly’s Web site at the following link:

Caption: Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), in accepting the Deukmejian
Award for Public Service, praised the public cooperation of the Armenian
Assembly, AGBU and Eastern and Western Diocese of the Armenian Church.