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FLArmenians 2020 Election Endorsements

FLArmenians.com is pleased to announce our 2020 election endorsements in Florida.

PRESIDENT:

  • Joe Biden & Kamala Harris (D)

Whether viewing the President’s record and tenure in office solely through an American or Armenian American lens, one would arrive at the same conclusion: he does not deserve reelection. From an Armenian American standpoint, Donald Trump never promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide so when he used practically the same exact language as President Obama in his annual April 24th statement there was little expectation that Trump would be any different than Obama.

However, what is most troubling to Armenian Americans at this point in time is how the Trump Administration broke over two decades of precedent when he increased military aid to Azerbaijan over that of Armenia. For nearly 20 years, the Armenian American community has been successful in ensuring that Congress, and to some extent the President, maintain parity when it comes to U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, the Trump Administration has “substantially ramped up security assistance to Azerbaijan, amounting to more than $100 million in fiscal years (FY) 2018-19,” according to an analysis by Emil Sanamyan of University of Southern California. “By comparison U.S. security aid to Azerbaijan in FY 2016-17 did not exceed $3 million a year,” he writes.

So far President Trump has resisted efforts to sanction Azerbaijan and withhold U.S. military aid to that country.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a substantial record of pro-Armenian positions from his early days to today. First and foremost, students of history will recall that in 1989, Joe Biden, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, brought forward S. J. Res. 212, the Armenian Genocide resolution. Biden, as Chairman and as an original cosponsor of the bill, brought the bill forward and held a successful markup, sending the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. What is significant here is that Senator Biden was under tremendous pressure not to bring the bill forward, but he did so anyway because he knew it was the right thing to do. Furthermore, in 1989 Armenian American advocacy was in its infancy. Modern day genocide resolutions are “sense of the House” resolutions, that have no legal binding and are not signed by the President. Back in 1989, the Armenian Genocide resolution was introduced as a “joint resolution” requiring passage in both chambers and the signature of the President. Then-Senator Joe Biden, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, presided over the first time in the history of the U.S. Senate where an Armenian Genocide resolution was discussed and adopted.

Fast forward to Vice President Joe Biden, who seems to have taken a lot of blame for Obama’s broken campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide. While that stain on Obama’s presidency remains indefinitely, it was at the end of the day President Obama’s decision, not Vice President Biden’s. Nobody knows for sure who said what in the Oval Office when Obama, Biden, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and others were in the room. We all know the outcome but to lay that at Biden’s feet now reflects a feeble minded understanding of American politics.

Vice President Joe Biden’s present-day positions are noteworthy. He was unequivocal on his April 24, 2020 statement on the Armenian Genocide, where he used the Armenian words Medz Yeghern and was unafraid to use the English equivalent: Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, Biden released two statements on the current Azerbaijan and Turkish war crimes launched against Artsakh (formerly Nagorno Karabakh) and Armenia. The first was on October 13, following the first ceasefire agreement violation by Azerbaijan. The second came on October 28 where Biden called for enforcing sanctions on Azerbaijan under Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which has been waived by every President since the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. In the October 28 statement, Biden also acknowledged Turkey smuggling Syrian mercenaries into the conflict.

President Trump and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien have been asked repeatedly since Azerbaijan first launched their attack on Artsakh on September 27th to enforce the sanctions regime on Azerbaijan currently U.S. law. O’Brien even recently admitted that Azerbaijan was the party uninterested in peace. Yet, the Trump Administration refuses to comment on enforcing sanctions on Azerbaijan.

The choice for President, from an American and especially through the Armenian American lens, cannot be any more clear. A vote for Trump is a vote for Aliyev and Erdogan, who will continue to get away with their crimes against humanity so long as Donald Trump is President.

As we said in an interview with The Hill newspaper, “Preserving the Armenian state is going to be paramount and right now, I think you can make the case very easily that the Armenian homeland is being threatened with another genocide. I think this is going to be the most important issue for Armenian Americans going into November.”

PALM BEACH COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-18: No Endorsement
  • FL-20: Gregg Musslewhite (R-FL)
  • FL-21 : Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
  • FL-22: Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)*

STATE SENATE

  • SD-25: Gayle Harrell (R)
  • SD-29: Brian Norton (R)
  • SD-30: Bobby Powell (D)
  • SD-31: Lori Berman (D)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-81: Kelly Skidmore (D)
  • HD-82: Mary Lynn Magar (R)
  • HD-85: Rick Roth (R)
  • HD-86: Matt Whilhite (D)
  • HD-87: David Silvers (D)
  • HD-88: Omari Hardy (D)
  • HD-89: Mike Caruso (R)
  • HD-90: Joe Casello (D)
  • HD-91: Emily Slosberg (D)

PALM BEACH BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

  • District 1: Maria Marino (R)
  • District 3: David Kerner (D)
  • District 5: David Shiner (R)
  • District 7: Mack Bernard (D)

SHERIFF & TAX COLLECTOR

  • Ric Bradshaw (D)
  • Anne Gannon (D)

CLERK & COMPTROLLER

  • Joseph Abruzzo

PALM BEACH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE GROUP 30 (NON-PARTISAN)

  • Adam Myron

PORT OF PALM BEACH

  • Group 1: Wayne Richards
  • Group 2: Katherine Waldron
  • Group 3: Jean Enright

SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION

  • Group 2: Ann Marie Sorrell
  • Group 3: Chad Alvarez
  • Group 4: Rob Long

BROWARD COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-23: Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)
  • FL-24: Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

STATE SENATE

  • SD-32: Sen. Lauren Book (D-FL)
  • SD-33: Sen. Perry Thurston, Jr. (D-FL)
  • SD-34: Sen. Gary Farmer, Jr. (D-FL)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-92: Patricia Hawkins-Williams (D-FL)
  • HD-93: Rep. Chip LaMarca (R-FL)
  • HD-94: Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-FL)
  • HD-95: Rep. Anika Tene Omphroy (D-FL)
  • HD-96: Christine Hunschofsky (D)
  • HD-97: Rep. Dan Daley (D-FL)
  • HD-98: Rep. Michael Gottlieb (D-FL)
  • HD-99: Rep. Evan Jenne (D-FL)
  • HD-100: Joe Geller (D)
  • HD-101: Rep. Marie Woodson (D-FL)

COUNTY COMMISSION

  • District 1: Nan Rich (D-FL)
  • District 3: Michael Udine (D-FL)
  • District 5: Steven Geller (D-FL)
  • District 7: Tim Ryan (D-FL)
  • District 9: Dale Holness (D-FL)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-25: Rep. Mario Diaz-Bolart (R-FL)
  • FL-26: Carlos Gimenez (R)
  • FL-27: Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL)

STATE SENATE

  • SD-35: Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-FL)
  • SD-37: Sen. Jose Javier Fernandez (R-FL)
  • SD-39: Javier Fernandez (D)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-102: Felicia Simone-Robinson (D)
  • HD-103: Rep. Cindy Polo (D-FL)
  • HD-104: Robin Bartleman (D)
  • HD-105: Maureen Porras (D)
  • HD-108: Rep. Dotie Joseph (D-FL)
  • HD-110: Annette Collazo (D)
  • HD-111: Rep. Bryan Avila (R-FL)
  • HD-112: Rep. Nicholas Duran (D-FL)
  • HD-113: Demi Busatta Cabrera (D)
  • HD-115: Rep. Vance Aloupis (R-FL)
  • HD-116: Rep. Daniel Perez (R-FL)
  • HD-118: Rickey Junquera (D)
  • HD-119: Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R)
  • HD-120: Rep. James Mooney (R-FL)

COUNTY COMMISSION

  • Mayor: Esteban “Steve” Bovo
  • District 1: Oliver Gilbert
  • District 3: Keon Hardemon
  • District 5: Eileen Higgins
  • District 7: Raquel Regalado
  • District 9: Kionne McGhee
  • District 11: Joe Martinez
  • District 13: Rene Garcia

OTHER CONGRESSIONAL RACES

CONGRESS

  • FL-01: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • FL-02: Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
  • FL-03: Kat Cammack (R)
  • FL-04: Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)
  • FL-05: Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL)
  • FL-06: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)
  • FL-07: Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • FL-08: Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • FL-09: Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)
  • FL-10: Rep. Val Demings (D-FL)
  • FL-11: Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
  • FL-12: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)**
  • FL-13: Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)*
  • FL-14: Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • FL-15: Scott Franklin (R)
  • FL-16: Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  • FL-17: Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL)
  • FL-19: Byron Donalds (R)

*Member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues

**Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues

Armenian Church Holy Week, Palm Sunday Celebrations in Florida

Boca Raton, FL

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Orlando, FL

Jacksonville, FL

Florida Armenians Participate in International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration at Palm Beach Central High School

WELLINGTON, FL – On Friday, January 25, 2019 the Palm Beach County School District held an International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration at Palm Beach Central High School (PBCHS). The event featured a collaborative program of student speakers from the school’s Holocaust Studies Department that highlighted the mass genocides of the 20th century, and called attention to the increase of violent crimes due to bigotry and hatred.

Over 100 students, faculty, and administrators gathered in the auditorium to hear the presentations, including remarks from PBCHS Holocaust Studies Department Chair Ms. Maureen Holtzer, and Zelda Fuksman, a Holocaust survivor who speaks to students across Florida about the Holocaust as part of the state’s inSIGHT Through Education initiative.

Following the presentations, participants traveled outside to the unveiling of a Genocide Memorial Garden, which will be a permanent fixture for students, parents, and teachers to learn about all genocides, man’s inhumanity towards man, and the lessons of intolerance and prejudice.

Norman Frajman, a local Holocaust survivor spoke about his experience, the importance of remembrance, and how we can all learn from the past lest we be doomed to repeat it.

Florida Armenians Editor Taniel Koushakjian offered remarks about the local Armenian American community’s efforts to expand genocide education through the work of the Armenian Genocide Committee (AGC). The AGC has successfully led a unified Armenian American community effort since 2014, working hand-in-hand with government officials, school administrators, educators, and parents in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.

Ms. Holtzer and her students spent weeks preparing the beautiful grounds of the garden. They also worked passionately to deliver a moving presentation and program. The Genocide Memorial Garden features hand-made butterflies that list the names of genocide victims for each instance of genocide, including the Armenian Genocide.

“The garden was created by students from my research class as their legacy to the school,” Ms. Holtzer said. “They felt it was of utmost importance to create something that would be a reminder of the devastating consequences of hatred. They selected the butterfly as their symbol as it represents both beauty and freedom,” said Ms. Holtzer.

To conclude the program participants were all given butterflies which were then set free together to mark the opening of the garden.

“I think it’s wonderful,” stated Richard Baronian of Boynton Beach, FL. The names of Baronian’s family members who perished in the genocide are displayed in the garden. “The genocide remembrance garden at Palm Beach Central High School will teach the students and parents of non-Armenians about our history. Hopefully they will want to find out more so the world never forgets,” Baronian said.