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Political Landscape: Locals win Truman Awards

Three recipients of this year’s Truman Awards presented last weekend by the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley have local ties.

The party is an umbrella organization made up of 27 area Democratic clubs, which names a top volunteer each year.

Bridget McCann is serving her second term as secretary of the Burbank Democratic Club and is a member of the California Democratic Party Central Committee and San Fernando Valley Young Democrats.

McCann’s first involvement in politics was as an L.A.-area precinct captain for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

“I truly love Burbank, and I feel the [Burbank Democratic Club] makes a significant contribution to the community,” she said.

A marine biologist, she has worked on various projects and publications with the California Ocean Science Trust, Ocean Protection Council and other environmental organizations.

McCann is working as a consultant with Exxon Mobil, helping to restructure its environmental safety training and procedures.

Glendale resident Juliet Minassian participated in the American political process as soon as she was eligible to vote in the United States in 1995. She campaigned for Hillary Clinton, then joined the “Obama for President” campaign.

She is a past president of the Glendale Democratic Club and serves as the organization’s first vice president. Minassian is a delegate to the California Democratic Party and a member of the L.A. County Democratic Central Committee.

She is also co-founder and vice-chair of the provisionally chartered California Armenian-American Democrats, made up of several local residents.

“[The award] means a lot to me,” Minassian said. “It gives more confidence to achieve my goal of having the California Armenian-American Democratic Party fully chartered.”

The California Democratic Party is expected to announce its decision about a full charter today.

Glendale resident Berdj Karapetian is a member of the Southern California Armenian Democrats, a county organization that formed in April.

In 2010, Karapetian volunteered for several Democratic candidates such as Glendale school board member Nayiri Nahabedian, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Gov. Jerry Brown. He was co-chair of Armenian-Americans for Boxer and California-Armenians for Brown, as well as led an extensive voter registration campaign for the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, in 2010.

“I’m grateful for the recognition of my efforts,” Karapetian said, “but I’m one of many, many individuals out there doing work, and everybody deserves recognition.”

Karapetian is chief operating officer of HiChoice Health Care Inc. and president of the L.A. County Adult Day Health Care Assn.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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