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Florida Elected Officials Respond to White House Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Earlier today, President Joe Biden became the first U.S. President to properly recognize the World War I era mass killings of Armenians and other Christians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire as genocide.

“Today is #ArmenianGenocide Remembrance Day, commemorating the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred in 1915 by the Ottomans, & today @POTUS has made history by becoming the first President to recognize it. This is a major step toward Armenians getting the justice they deserve,” Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL) said on Twitter. Earlier this week, Frankel was one of three Florida Representatives to sign a letter to President Biden urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide on April 24th.

“It has been more than 100 years since the atrocities committed against innocent Armenians and other ethnic and religious minorities at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire’s genocidal campaign from 1915-1923 killed 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children, as well as Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs, through a series of executions and death marches,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who serves as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus. “I whole-heartedly welcome today’s historic announcement from President Biden formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I have been a major supporter of recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s atrocious acts as genocide, co-authoring the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution passed by the House of Representatives two years ago. We must acknowledge the atrocities of the past so that we might hopefully prevent them in the future. Our darkest moments as a human race have come during times when those who knew better stood silently, making excuses for passivity and allowing injustice and persecution to reign. Today at 2:30 p.m. I spoke with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia George Kent who confirmed the Administration’s announcement today acknowledging the pain of history to ensure future atrocities do not happen,” Bilirakis said on Saturday.

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), an active member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, issued a statement on Twitter, saying “I commend @POTUS Biden for officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Yet over a century later some still minimize the Ottoman Empire’s systematic execution of Armenians. We must honor the victims & survivors, & we must keep its memory alive to prevent history from repeating.”

“President Joe Biden’s deceptively simple action goes beyond what any previous American president has ever been willing to do. The evidence, however, is clear the Turks engaged in a years-long ethnic cleansing campaign that included forced death marches and mass starvation. Recognizing this fact will, hopefully, bring an element of closure to this chapter of history for families impacted by these atrocities,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth (D-FL) told FLArmenians.com.

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer told FLArmenians.com, “The White House’s recognition today of the Armenian Genocide is an important step to honor the memory of the many who were killed. To prevent future tragedies, we must never forget those that occurred,” Mayor Singer said. Boca Raton, FL is the second largest city in Palm Beach County and is home to St. David Armenian Church, the first Armenian Church built in Florida and consecrated in 1989.

Responding to the news, Mark Samuelian, Miami Beach City Commissioner told FLArmenians.com, “Having recently visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, President Biden’s historic announcement today delivers profound meaning.” Elected in 2017, Samuelian is the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County, FL.

*This post was updated on Thursday, April 29, 2021 to reflect the new statements. FLArmenians.com will continue to update this post with new statements from Florida elected officials.

Florida Armenians Endorsed Candidate Wins on Election Night

Singer Mayor+TK 2018

Boca Raton Mayor-Elect Scott Singer with Florida Armenians Editor Taniel S. Koushakjian at the Singer Victory Party on Election Night.

By Editorial Board

In the City of Boca Raton special election that took place on Tuesday, August 28th, Florida Armenians endorsed candidate for Mayor, Scott Singer, overwhelmingly won his election against challenger Al Zucaro, 63.5% to 33.5%. Singer has been a great friend of the Armenian American community in Boca Raton for many years.

In the three-way race to succeed Singer on the Boca Raton City Council, attorney Andy Thomson defeated his two opponents, capturing 44.15% of the vote. This race was too close to call on Election Night, with Thomson down the majority of the night. A hand recount was ordered by the Boca Raton Supervisor of Elections, which saw Thomson, who was down by 3 votes, prevail by 33 votes when all was said and done.

Florida Armenians congratulate Mayor Scott Singer and Councilman Andy Thomson on their election victories and we look forward to working with them on the important issues facing their Armenian American constituents in Boca Raton.

Polling center FLArmenians

Endorsements: Boca Raton Special Election 2018

Florida Armenians is pleased to announce our endorsements for the City of Boca Raton Special Election that will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

For Mayor of Boca Raton: Scott Singer

For Boca Raton City Council Seat A: Kathy Cottrell

BACKGROUND

Scott Singer

Scott Singer has served on the Boca Raton City Council since first being elected in 2014. In 2017, Florida Armenians was proud to endorse his successful re-election campaign. Singer’s involvement in the city is deep, where he sits on numerous boards and is involved with several community organizations. Of particular concern to Armenian American residents in Boca Raton, Mr. Singer has been a strong advocate for human rights and Armenian Genocide recognition. He has supported numerous resolutions in City Hall commemorating the Armenian Genocide and has attended Armenian community events at St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton and throughout the city. Therefore, Florida Armenians is proud to support Scott Singer for Mayor of Boca Raton.

To learn more about Mr. Singer please click here.

Kathy Cottrell

Although new to politics, Mrs. Cottrell has been actively engaged in Boca Raton community and civic affairs. A Boca Raton native, she has sat on city boards and consulted with Fortune 500 companies. Given her deep roots to Boca Raton and the community, and her education and professional background, Florida Armenians is proud to endorse Mrs. Cottrell for Boca Raton City Council Seat A.

To learn more about Mrs. Cottrell please click here.

SPECIAL ELECTION

Following the suspension of Mayor Susan Haynie in April of this year, a special election to fill her seat was immediately scheduled for August 28, 2018, to coincide with the State of Florida’s Primary Election Day. In accordance with Florida’s new “resign to run” law, Scott Singer, who sat on the City Council at the time of Haynie’s suspension, resigned from city council to run for mayor to replace Haynie. That opened his seat for election, Seat A, which will also be decided tomorrow.

For more information about the City of Boca Raton municipal elections, please click here.