ANCA: Colorado Legislators Join Community in Commemorating Genocide

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
[email protected]


May 13, 2010

Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— Local Activists Make U.S. Affirmation of Armenian Genocide a
Key Issue in 2010 Congressional Elections

DENVER, CO – In what has become an annual tradition, initiated by
the Armenians of Colorado, gubernatorial and local proclamations
and a unanimously adopted General Assembly resolution marked the
95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Centennial State,
reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Noting the murder of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 -1923 and the
Turkish Government’s continued efforts to "deny and distort the
facts of the genocide, honor the perpetrators of that crime against
humanity as national heroes, and persecute its citizens who
acknowledge or even allude to the Armenian Genocide," Senate Joint
Resolution 10-038 designated April 24th 2010 and every April 24th
thereafter as "Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide." To
read the complete text of the resolution, visit:
/csl.nsf/fsbillcont/BEB6B9096A65FC03872576F8005DAE D2?Open&file=3DSJR038_enr.pdf

Governor Bill Ritter’s proclamation cites the importance of
commemorating past tragedies to teach tolerance in today’s society,
stating "the State of Colorado joins the Armenian-American
community in its annual observance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915
– 1923 to raise awareness of this unconscionable tragedy so that we
may better understand the importance of eliminating hatred in our
own communities." Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s proclamation
stresses that "all the world’s people should commemorate the
Armenian Genocide and condemn any attempt to deny its historical
truth or mischaracterize the episode as anything less than

"We commend Governor Ritter, Mayor Hickenlooper, and the Colorado
General Assembly for their vigilance in joining with Colorado’s
Armenian community – for over 20 years – in honoring the victims
and survivors of the Armenian Genocide and recommitting our
collective efforts to end the cycle of genocide," said ANCA
Colorado activist Jirair Christianian. "We look to our
Congressional leaders – particularly those who have remained silent
on this key human rights issue, to immediately cosponsor the
Armenian Genocide Resolutions and work actively for their Senate
and House passage."

Colorado Armenians gathered at the Armenian Genocide memorial at
the State Capitol on April 24th to mark the occasion and attended
commemorative programs, including an April 17th Arapahoe Community
College event featuring remarks by noted attorney Mark Geragos.

Aspen’s Armenian community placed ads in the local "Aspen Daily
News" and "The Aspen Times" urging Congress to end Turkey’s gag
rule on U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide through passage
of the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.252 / S.Res.316). The
ads led to a news story in the "Aspen Daily News," focusing on
local activist Stephan Isberian and community efforts to secure
U.S. affirmation of this crime. The Aspen Daily News story can be
viewed at:
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ck.4500/flash/loadPage.php?token=3D0Mf VyNzF19LNubDG6dWUoJeghJWXoJWlys
WuoZXRlJnNmJ%252Bz mJKejqaWlXJ4jqaWng%253D%253D

Colorado Senate and House Candidates Go on the Record on Armenian
Genocide Affirmation

Colorado Armenian Americans have made U.S. affirmation of the
Armenian Genocide a key factor in their support for Congressional
candidates, with Rocky Mountain Hye Advocates (RMHA) lead activists
Pamela Barsam Brown and Vi Bashian Cooper leading the charge in
circulating candidate questionnaires in the 2008 and 2010 election
seasons. An unprecedented 100% of 2008 Congressional candidates
elected to office had responded to the state questionnaires – all
citing their support for passage of Armenian Genocide legislation.
To date, Representatives Diane DeGette (D), Jared Polis (D) and
John Salazar (D) have honored their campaign pledge through co-
sponsorship of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res. 252).
Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) cosponsored the Senate Armenian
Genocide Resolution (S.Res.316) in February 2010.

Beginning in November 2009, RMHA initiated its candidate outreach
to secure 2010 campaign pledges, with focus on districts where
Representatives have not honored their pledge to cosponsor Armenian
Genocide legislation. In Districts 4 and 6, where freshmen
Representatives Betsy Markey (D) and Michael Coffman (R) have
remained silent on Armenian Genocide affirmation efforts,
challengers – both Republican (Cory Gardner and Tom Lucero) and
Democrat (John Flerlage) – have already pledged to a concrete
action of co-sponsorship upon election to Congress.

Special focus has been placed on the 7th Congressional district,
where Rep. Ed Perlmutter – after a nine-year record of support for
Armenian Genocide legislation – has not yet cosponsored H.Res.252.
RMHA investigations have uncovered campaign contributions in excess
of $28,000 by American military contractors, identified by the
Associated Press and Reuters, as working to undermine congressional
support for an Armenian Genocide resolution. Rep. Perlmutter’s
Republican challenger, Ryan Frazier, has provided RMHA with his
campaign pledge to co-sponsor an Armenian Genocide resolution upon

Turning to the Senate, Armenian Genocide Resolution cosponsor
Michael Bennett’s Republican and Democratic party challengers –
including Andrew Romanoff (D), Jane Norton (R), Tom Weins (R) and
Ken Buck (R) – have each pledged support for Armenian Genocide
affirmation, highlighting the broad bipartisan support this effort
has garnered.

Sen. Mark Udall (D) has broken with Colorado Senate tradition, and
despite his longstanding House co-sponsorship record on Armenian
Genocide legislation and repeated outreach by Armenian American and
anti-genocide advocates, refrained from cosponsoring S.Res.316. In
an effort to cover-up his broken Genocide affirmation pledge, Sen.
Udall issued a statement on April 24, 2010, stating "After the
events of 1915, we said ‘never again.’ We haven’t kept faith with
those words in the years since — but we must keep faith with them
now," – all the while refraining to properly characterize this
crime against humanity as genocide.

To read complete coverage of the Armenians of Colorado and RMHA
activities 95th anniversary commemorative activities, check out the
RMHA Newsletter:

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