Is the Armenian Assembly leadership part of the community or part of the problem?
Published: Wednesday June 29, 2011
The important point is that the Cafesjian Family Foundation is ready to invite the community to join forces and move forward with the project – and the Assembly's leaders know this. So why drag out the litigation? Why continue to pay lawyers instead of paying builders?
3. Vacate the property
The Armenian Assembly continues to occupy part of the Grant Property and asserts a right to stay there until the end of 2015. Were it to stay, it would be impossible to tear down the building in question and build the museum by April 24, 2015.
The now-defunct entity that held the properties until recently, after illegally expelling the Cafesjian Family Foundation's designee from the board, had signed a lease with the Assembly. They signed this lease with tenancy lasting through 2015 even though the grant agreement stipulated that control of the property would revert to Mr. Cafesjian or the Cafesjian Family Foundation after the end of 2010.
The Cafesjian Family Foundation is arguing in court that the lease is invalid as a matter of “black-letter law.” But if the Assembly wants the project to move forward, it can do the right thing and move out right away. The Assembly can pay rent to anyone in a building far more suited to its advocacy purpose. But the Assembly's leaders insist on remaining in a tear-down building, effectively preventing the community from proceeding with the vital task at hand. Why?
4. Dissolve AGMM voluntarily
Another siphon of money and time is the need to go to court over the continued existence of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial, Inc. This was the entity established in 2003 by unanimous consent of the Assembly, the Cafesjian Family Foundation, and the Armenian National Institute – which became a subsidiary of the corporation. Its publicly declared purpose was to develop the museum and memorial. Since the Grant Property has reverted, this entity now has no assets to speak of, and no property on which to build a memorial and museum. Instead, it has a mountain of debt and no prospect of covering it. Its officers remain hopelessly deadlocked over any meaningful way forward. It is time to begin anew.
5. Join in a pan-Armenian effort to get the project done promptly
The Armenian Assembly can be part of the effort to bring this project to fruition. Stop attempting to retry a lost case in the media, drop the appeal, vacate the property, and dissolve AGMM voluntarily. Choose to be part of the community and not part of the problem. Join a united community effort or step aside.