Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
104 North Belmont, Suite 200
Glendale, California 91206
Telephone: (818) 500-1918
Facsimile: (818) 246-7353
[email protected] <>

Press Release: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Contact: Lerna Kayserian

Tel: (818) 500-1918

ANC of Oregon Leads Meetings with Members of Congress

PORTLAND, OR --- Armenian Americans from the greater Portland area joined
the Armenian National Committee of Oregon for meetings with the offices of
US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) as well as US Representatives Darlene Hooley
(D-Salem) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland). ANC of Oregon Chairman Rafael
Saakyan was joined by Kevork Parseghian, Parish Council Chairman of the
Armenian Apostolic Church of Portland. They were also joined by Armen
Megerdom for the meeting with Congressman Blumenauer. ANCA-WR Community
Relations Director, Haig Hovsepian accompanied the group.

The day's meetings commenced with a visit to Representative Darlene Hooley's
West Linn district office. Mr. Parseghian discussed the history and current
activities of the Armenian American community in the Portland area with the
Congresswoman's District Aide, Jennifer Wagner. They also spoke with her
about the current Armenian Genocide resolutions in Congress as well as H.R.
3361, which prevents the United States from financing an Azeri-proposed
railway construction project that bypasses Armenia and stymies regional
cooperation. Ms. Wagner thanked them for the information and said she would
present the legislation to the Congresswoman. Mr. Saakyan encouraged
Representative Hooley to co-sponsor the legislation.

Mr. Parseghian invited the Congresswoman and her staff to attend upcoming
Armenian community events. "I appreciate Ms. Wagner's enthusiasm to be
included in our community activities to learn more about our culture," he

The group then traveled to Senator Ron Wyden's office in downtown Portland.
There they met with community liaison Loretta Smith. They noted that the
Senator had co-sponsored Armenian Genocide resolutions in the previous two
Congresses and asked that the Senator do so once again by co-sponsoring
S.Res.320 on the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. Saakyan also reviewed the community's concerns regarding the firing of
Ambassador John Marshall Evans and the Ambassador-designate, Richard
Hoagland. The group requested that Senator Wyden also convey the concerns
of his constituents to his colleagues in the Senate. Ms. Smith agreed and
encouraged the group to have the community continue to write to the Senator
on the matter.

The final meeting of the day was just across town with Representative
Blumenauer. The Congressman was joined by Judah Ariel, a Legislative Aide
from his Washington D.C. office. The Congressman and Mr. Ariel both
commented favorably about former ANCA Capitol Gateway Program participant,
Andrew Gregorian, who worked in the Congressman's D.C. office in the past

During the meeting, the Congressman agreed to review H.R. 3361 and consider
co-sponsoring the legislation. He thanked the community for bringing it to
his attention. Prompted by the discussion of the deleterious effects of the
ongoing Turkish and Azeri blockade of Armenia and H.R. 3361, Mr. Saakyan
also updated the Congressman regarding Armenia's economy.

"Meeting our representatives was extremely important for the Armenian
Community of Oregon and the Oregon ANC," commented Mr. Saakyan. "We look
forward to following up with them and continuing our efforts to bring
together our community and our congressional delegation."

Editor's Note: Photo Attached. Photo 1: Oregonian Armenians meet Congressman
Blumenauer at his Portland district office. {left to right} Armen Megerdom,
Treasurer of the Armenian Community of Oregon, Kevork Parseghian, Chairman,
Armenian Apostolic Church of Portland Parish Council, Congressman Earl
Blumenauer, Rafael Saakyan, and Haig Hovsepian.