Armenian National Committee – East San Fernando Valley
11719 Moorpark Street
Studio City, 91604
: August 23, 2007
Contact: Manug Haladjian
Tel: (818) 500-1918
East San Fernando Valley ANC Meets with Congressman Howard Berman
Van Nuys, CA – On Tuesday, August 21, 2007 members of the East San Fernando
Valley ANC (ESFV ANC) and ANC-WR met with Congressman Howard Berman (D-28).
The meeting was held to discuss issues of concern to the local Armenian
American community in the San Fernando Valley. Those in attendance included
ESFV member Teresa Petrosyan, ANC-WR Board Member Avo Ovayan, ANC-WR
Executive Director Andrew Kzirian, Congressman Howard Berman and District
Director Bob Blumenfeld.
The Congressman, who serves as the second highest ranking official on the
House Committee on Foreign Affairs, discussed H. Res. 106 (the Armenian
Genocide Resolution) and mentioned the strong support that the resolution
currently enjoys. At the present time, H. Res. 106 has secured broad
bipartisan support, with a total of over 226 cosponsors. The ESFV ANC
expressed its commitment of expanding its strong working relationship with
Congressman Berman and other area officials, with plans for a Town Hall
meeting with elected officials planned from the San Fernando Valley slated
for October 2007.
"This was a great opportunity to discuss the work of the ANC’s grassroots
efforts with the Congressman," stated ESFV ANC member Petrosyan. ANC-WR
Board Member Avo Ovayan added, "Armenian American voters in California’s
28th Congressional District have a good friend in Congressman Berman."
The ESFV ANC plans to host a Town Hall Meeting in the coming months with
Congressman Berman. This event will allow community activists and
constituents to hear from the Congressman on important local, regional and
national matters relating to the 28th Congressional District.
On March 20, 2007, Congressman Berman issued a Dear Colleague letter to the
entire United States Congress urging all Members to support the Armenian
Genocide Resolution. In the letter, Berman referenced the International
Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), which has concluded that "the
historical record on the Armenian Genocide is unambiguous and documented by
overwhelming evidence. It is proven by foreign office records of the United
States, France, Great Britain, Russian and perhaps most importantly, of
Turkey’s World War I allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, as well as by the
records of the Ottoman Courts-Martial of 1918-1920, and by decades of
In the letter, Congressman Berman stated that, "At some point, every nation
must come to terms with its own history. And it is now time for Turkey to
accept the reality of the Armenian Genocide. This will undoubtedly be a
difficult and painful process for the Turkish people, but it will ultimately
strengthen Turkish democracy and put the important US-Turkey relationship on
"Congressman Berman’s strong support for H. Res. 106 is an example of strong
moral leadership – especially given his senior position on the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs," stated ANC-WR Executive Director Andrew
Kzirian. "We look forward to working with the Congressman well into the
future," he added.
Congressman Berman was first elected to Congress in 1982. He is a graduate
of UCLA (1962) and UCLA Law School (1965) and served as a VISTA volunteer
upon graduation. From 1967 to 1973, he practiced law in Los Angeles,
specializing in labor relations. In 1973, Berman was elected to the
California State Assembly and was the youngest-ever Assembly Majority leader
and served as Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Policy
Research Management Committee of the Assembly.
"There are few House members who have made such an imprint on legislation in
so many areas as Howard Berman," says The Almanac of American Politics. The
Almanac goes on to call Berman "one of the most aggressive and creative
members of the House and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American
politics." Berman is particularly well-known for his ability to form
bipartisan coalitions. Together with Republican Henry Hyde, Berman wrote a
law authorizing embargoes on nations that support terrorism. With Republican
Senator Chuck Grassley, he wrote amendments to the False Claims Act.
In addition to being a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign
Affairs, Berman is the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He has
gained increasing influence on such issues as foreign aid, the Middle East
peace process, nonproliferation, antiterrorism, human rights, technology
policy, trade legislation, copyright legislation, and immigration reform.
Congressman Berman is married to Janis Gail Berman and they have two
daughters, Brinley and Lindsey.
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.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress