The Chairwoman of Idaho’s chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Liyah Babayan joined with national ANCA leaders at a recent policy consultation in Washington, DC with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch (R-ID), ANCA reported.
"I appreciated the opportunity to share with Chairman Risch the Idaho Armenian community's support for a permanent U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide - one which properly honors the heroic role that Idahoans and all Americans played in saving hundreds of thousands of orphans through the Congressionally-mandated Near East Relief effort," said ANCA Idaho Chairwoman Liyah Babayan. "As the great-grandchild of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, forced to flee Azerbaijani government-organized violence against the country's Armenian minority, my family and I understand first-hand the importance of properly commemorating this crime, condemning its denial, and ensuring that the lessons of the past contribute to a more tolerant future," said Babayan.
As Chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Risch holds the authority to schedule a vote on S.Res.150, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, introduced by the panel’s Ranking Democrat, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). This bipartisan measure, co-authored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), is cosponsored by seventeen other Senators, including four current presidential candidates – Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Babayan was joined by ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian, ANCA Western Region Executive Director Armen Sahakyan, and ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan.
Babayan shared the efforts of the Idaho Armenian community to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and honor the efforts of Idahoans to helped survivors of that crime. Through participation in the congressionally mandated Near East Relief (NER) program, Idahoans sponsored the care and well-being of over 2000 orphans of the Armenian Genocide, providing the cost of clothing and feeding these children. The residents of Idaho also contributed an impressive 100 tons of clothing and shoes through the designated NER district office in neighboring Washington State.