September 28, 2013 - 12:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) announced its endorsement of long time Armenian American community supporter and State Senate champion Daylin Leach in his primary bid to succeed Representative Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional district.
"Senator Leach has been an outspoken supporter of U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, spearheading successive Pennsylvania House and Senate resolutions raising awareness of the need to recognize and condemn this crime," stated Pennsylvania activist and ANCA leader Nora Kzirian. "We're proud to stand with Senator Leach as he seeks to bring his principled leadership to the Halls of Congress."
"When I married into an Armenian family I was quickly captivated by the rich cultural and culinary Armenian traditions," noted Senator Leach, a Jewish American. "But more than that, I learned of the tragic genocide inflicted on the Armenian people in the early part of the last century. My people have also experienced genocide. I know how important it is for the world to acknowledge the truth, and swore to make it my life's mission to ensure that this happened for the Armenian people."
State Senator Daylin Leach was first elected to the Pennsylvania State House in 2002 and later to the State Senate in 2008. Throughout his career in elected office, he has been author and prime sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the Pennsylvania. "Revisionists still inexplicably deny the existence of these horrific events, and modern Turkey continues to distort the facts surrounding the genocide. By consistently remembering and openly condemning the atrocities committed against the Armenians, Pennsylvanians affirm the need for constant vigilance to prevent similar atrocities in the future,” Leach explained to his colleagues on the Senate floor when introducing the resolution in 2009.
In May, 2012, Sen. Leach hosted students from the Armenian Sisters Academy at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg for "Armenian Awareness Day," which included a dance performance, cultural exhibit and press conference. "I appreciate the support from members of the Armenian community who work tirelessly to preserve the rich history of their culture and share it with others. I hope that everyone who attended today’s event had fun and, more importantly, learned something along the way,” Leach told attendees at the press conference.
Sen. Leach, whose wife, Jennifer, is of Armenian descent, has been active in Pennsylvania Armenian community life, often participating in the annual Armenian Genocide Walk and recently serving as keynote Speaker at the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) annual dinner. He was among honored guests at the May 18th International House of Philadelphia global gala in celebration of the rich cultural traditions and achievements of the Armenian people around the world.
Sen. Leach's father-in-law, Dr. Robert Mirak, is the author of "Torn Between Two Lands: Armenians in America 1890 to World War I," the story of the Armenian immigrant experience in America prior to WWI, and the Armenian entry in the "Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups."
Jennifer and the Mirak family are directors of the John Mirak Foundation which supports numerous Armenian causes in America and abroad including the Armenia Tree Project; Avedisian School in Yerevan; Armenian Eye Care Project; Zoryan Institute; Armenian Heritage Park in Boston, MA; St. Steven's Armenian School, Watertown, MA; and St. James Church in Watertown, MA.
Leach is running in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District to replace Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, a supporter of Armenian American issues, who is running for Governor. The district includes Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County, both Armenian American strongholds in the state. The primary is scheduled for May 20, 2014.