By the end of the fourth week at ANCA Glendale, we gained a better understanding of how to utilize social media to the best of our advantage and the importance of correct marketing by meeting with Shant Sahakyan, a GUSD Board member who has a background in marketing. We learned about the role of a Glendale City Mayor by meeting with Vartan Gharpetian and gained more insight into the changes that are coming to Glendale’s transportation system by meeting with Metro and Metrolink board member as well as Glendale City Councilman, Ara Najarian.
On Monday, Shant Sahakyan came to GYC where we held a productive conversation about social media marketing and how to specifically reach the largest audience in the most effective way. Mr. Sahakyan’s interest in marketing and design grew from a very young age and he has been able to utilize the skills he’s gained to give back to his community by helping numerous non-profit organizations. He pointed out that although social media is a great platform to use, one must keep in mind that it’s also a platform that is accessible to everyone. To be effective and compelling, one must produce the most interesting and eye catching content, because on social media one is faced with endless competition for attention. Having a successful business in website design, Mr. Sahakyan is aware that knowing your audience is a key in making an advertisement powerful.
The following day, we had the opportunity to meet with Vartan Gharpetian, the Glendale City Mayor. Mayor Gharpetian discussed his journey and long-lasting efforts that got him to where he is today, including his involvement in the Historic Preservation Commission, Parks, Recreation & Community Service Commission, Design Review Board, and the Housing Authority. Amongst other positions, he has served in the Glendale Police Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, all of which led up to his 2015 election to City Council. We inquired him about the duties of a city mayor; he explained that setting the agenda, runnings meetings and most importantly representing the city residents are amongst those responsibilities. Subsequently, Mayor Gharpetian gave wonderful advice on how to be active citizens in the community and Armenian Americans who care about the issues that it faces. Finally, we conversed about issues in Glendale he along with the Councilmembers are currently addressing, including the affordable housing, traffic, and so on.
On Thursday, we visited City Hall once again to meet with Councilmember Ara Najarian. Mr. Najarian explained his background and his journey to becoming a lawyer and later on a City Council Member. His journey in public service started when he was elected to be on the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees. He served there for two years after which he was elected as a Glendale city council member. Prior to his election to council member, Najarian served on the Transportation and Parking Commission. His interests in improving transportation in Glendale continues today as he is a board member at Metro and Metrolink. Subsequently, our conversation concentrated on Glendale’s public transportation and the improvements we will soon see. The city is on the road to increase connections to Downtown LA, have all electric buses that are more efficient and environmentally friendly, as well as expand all public transportation lines. With these new advancements, the city hopes to better accommodate to its residence and keep up with the ever so changing culture of transportation.
The remaining days of the week were spent in the GYC office working on various projects. An important task we were assigned was drafting a press release regarding the rejection of a billboard space for the documentary “Architects of Denial” by the Americana at Brand. The documentary, through first hand survivor stories and expert historian analysis, tells the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and the consequences that follow the denial of such crimes against humanity. Our team enjoyed working on this project as we felt it is part of our responsibility as an organization in Glendale to inform the public. This is a topic that we are all passionate about, we hope that our efforts will result in a change.