Armenian News Network / Groong


Conversations on Groong: With Ardy Kassakhian



July 14, 2022


     Ardy Kassakhian


     Hovik Manucharyan

     Asbed Bedrossian



Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong.

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.


Current Topics with the Mayor of Glendale



In today’s Conversations on Groong we’re going to talk about a number of topics relevant to Armenia, Glendale, the US, and more.


We are joined by:


ArdashesArdyKassakhian who is a Glendale City Councilman, and the current mayor of Glendale.




Mayor and Councilman of Glendale


      You were elected to the Glendale City Council in 2020, can you describe the past 2 years in office for you?

      What goals had you set for yourself, and how are you doing by your own measure?


June 2022 Elections


You were not up for re-election, but two other Armenian councilmen were. Ara Najarian was re-elected, while Vrej Aghajanian was not. Instead, Glendale voted for Elen Asatryan. We should mention that Dan Brotman was also elected to city council.

Glendale is roughly 50% Armenian, as is the council.

      What does Asatryan’s election mean for the Armenian community here?

      Is the Glendale city council a point of connection with the Diaspora high-commissioner’s office, as it is called since Zareh moved there?


This past week Ara Najarian became the chairman of the LA Metro board.

      Can you tell us why this role is important, and how it can affect life in LA, and Glendale?


US National Politics


We’re closing in on the nation's midterm elections and it looks terrible for the Democrats.

      What is your outlook on the midterm elections?

      What happens to Biden’s agenda if the Dems lose the House and/or Senate in November?


Armenian-American Political Advocacy

What are your thoughts about the level of political advocacy of Armenian-American citizens? Many times, we sell ourselves as the second largest politically active diaspora after Israel, but is that comparison correct?

Even before the 44-day war, there were signs that there were many gaps between US foreign policy and Armenian political advocacy. For instance, for many years, the US continued to provide military aid to Azerbaijan, blatantly waiving Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which intended to curb US weapons sales to Baku.



Turkish-Armenian “Normalization”

Let’s discuss for a moment the so-called “Normalization” process between Turkey and Armenia.

      What is your view on the current process between Armenia and Turkey?

      What does “Normalization” between Turkey and Armenia mean to you?


Relations between Glendale and Armenia

One of our former Mayors was Zareh Sinanyan, who then resigned from the council, left Glendale, and moved to Yerevan.

      Has that experience affected the relationship of the Glendale Armenians with the city council and the role of Mayor?

      How is the Glendale Armenian community’s relationship with the city council?

Recently Armenian consul general Armen Baiburtyan returned to Armenia. I’m not sure what the state of his succession is.

      How is your relationship with the Armenian consulate?

      How is your relationship with the Armenian embassy in Washington, and ambassador Lilit Makunts?

What's going on in Yerevan (protests, Opposition, etc.)

      What is your opinion on all that happened since Nov 2020?

      Do you follow the protest movement in Armenia?



That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. As always, we invite your feedback, Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Like our pages and follow us on Twitter. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.


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Ardy Kassakhian, ArdashesArdyKassakhian, Glendale, California, Mayor of Glendale, Armenia, 44-day war, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, Turkish-Armenian Normalization, Armenian Genocide, Armenian Advocacy, Ara Najarian, Elen Asatryan, Vrej Aghajanian, Dan Brotman, Joe Biden, Build Back Better, 44-day war