A Meeting with Congressman Reichert

I feel as if I have accomplished a coup.

At noon on Wednesday, August 11, I along with two other Armenians (one from L.A., one from Bellevue) met with my congressman, Dave Reichert, the Republican Congressional representative of Washington’s 8th congressional district. He has been receptive previously to the plight of the Armenians, so we consider him a good guy. We wish you, too, could vote for him.

Here is the problem:

Every nation in the world—except the US—recognizes the horrific Genocide of WWI.

We, the Armenians of the Diaspora, especially in the U.S., pursue our Congressional Representatives every year to introduce a bill in Congress to recognize the Genocide. Every presidential candidate since Nixon has also promised to recognize the Genocide and the Armenians have filled their coffers with the hope of the promise. BUT, as soon as he is elected, every President (including Obama) has refused to keep his promise and pressure Turkey to admit the events of WWI.

The problem is we, the U.S, have military bases in Turkey, and the current Turkish leadership holds that fact as ransom. Even if a bill is passed in the House, the President doesn’t sign it, and the issue goes down the drain until April of the next year. So every year we petition a new bill, and it goes on and on …

The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting with Congressman Reichert was to inform him and his staff about current Armenian issues, specifically H.RES.252, regarding the Armenian Genocide—the same issues that he had fought for in previous years, but not this current one—yet.

We had a great dialogue in his office for 45 minutes—a success, in itself.

My personal coup was when Dave Reichert bought a copy of my book and requested my autograph.

Normally a constituent donates toward a candidate’s campaign. In my case, the candidate (well, he asked his assistant to pay) contributed toward the welfare of the constituent.

I want to save that $20.00 bill and frame it among with my other memorabilia!

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