IAPAC Hosts Washington D.C. Meet & Greet Reception with U.S. Representatives Meehan, Shays and Maloney
Washington, DC – The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) held its 2005 Fall Meet & Greet Reception on the evening of Wednesday, November 16th at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The reception was attended by three members of U.S. House of Representatives - The Honorable Marty Meehan (D-MA), The Honorable Christopher Shays (R-CT) and The Honorable Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), as well as Ms. Banafsheh Akhlaghi of the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA).
The program began with introductory remarks by Taeiss Mojazza Haghighat, the Development Director of IAPAC. Ms. Haghighat explained that a critical component of IAPAC’s mission is to boost political awareness within the Iranian American community. “Meet & Greet Events offer us an opportunity to educate Iranian Americans about the role of Political Action Committees (PACs) in the American political process and introduce the mission and activities of IAPAC,” said Mrs. Haghighat.
Before taking his leave due to a prior engagement, Congressman Shays graciously accepted the heartfelt thanks of the guests for sponsoring H.Res.367 in support of the Iranian American Community. Representatives Meehan and Shays introduced H.Res.367 on July 19th condemning discrimination and bigotry against Iranian Americans. The resolution is a response to documented reports of discrimination targeting the Iranian American community and supplements the Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign.
The first speaker of the evening, Congressman Meehan expressed his admiration for the Iranian American community. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, Meehan is a leading supporter of civil liberties and civil rights. “I am concerned about growing reports of discrimination and ethnic profiling of Iranian Americans,” said Meehan. He urged Iranian Americans to watch for instances of abuse, and play a role in bringing them to the attention of members of Congress. Meehan also complemented IAPAC for working in a bipartisan manner and engaging the Iranian American community in the American political process.
Following Meehan, Congresswoman Maloney, praised the Iranian American community for its contributions to American society. One of the early cosponsors of H.Res.367, Maloney is a strong proponent of civil liberties. As a co-chair of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Caucus, Maloney has worked tirelessly to ensure that New York’s recovery from 9/11 is completed and that our national security is strengthened, while preserving civil liberties. Maloney also encouraged Iranian Americans to contact her office and share their experiences. “Your concerns are a phone call away,” Maloney remarked.
Also representing IAPAC was Morad Ghorban, who serves as the organization’s Political Director. Mr. Ghorban gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing the history, objectives and achievements of IAPAC. Mr. Ghorban explained that PACs were created under the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act to guide the raising and spending of funds for candidates running for public office in the United States. “IAPAC contributions are a means of access to discuss policy positions and educate policy makers about the various domestic needs of the Iranian American community,” said Mr. Ghorban. Mr. Ghorban also emphasized that PACs do not “exist in a vacuum” and often work closely with non-profit organizations and lobby groups that represent specific constituencies.
Following Mr. Ghorban’s lead, Ms. Akhlaghi of the NLSCA, explained how IAPAC played a key role in working with members of Congress to introduce a Congressional resolution that complements the Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign. “IAPAC has been instrumental in providing a channel to the government and a voice that can be heard on Capitol Hill,” said Ms. Akhlaghi.