Lorig Charkoudian Wins House Democratic Primary in Maryland


TAKOMA PARK, Md. — Lorig Charkoudian, originally from Newton, Mass., won the Democratic Primary for the Maryland House of Delegates, to represent District 20, which includes Takoma Park and Silver Spring.

Charkoudian has dedicated more than two decades to public service in Maryland. This work has taken her into schools, farms, neighborhoods, courts, prisons, small businesses, hospitals, government agencies and the Maryland State House.

She has developed programs to reduce prison recidivism, written legislation for food security and public health, worked with the courts to increase access to justice for low income people, developed programs to build community wealth, provided violence prevention services, and marched in the streets for social justice.

Her vision statement, “Join us to build a More Just and Inclusive Maryland”, has inspired dozens of volunteers to work on the campaign and over 9,000 residents to vote for her.

Charkoudian has been the driving force in the growth of Crossroads Farmers Market and the development of the Takoma Park Silver Spring Commercial Kitchen where local entrepreneurs, many of them immigrants, share the kitchen’s facilities as they develop their food-based businesses.

She credits her appreciation for the power of food as an economic engine and community builder to her Armenian upbringing.  “I grew up eating the churtmah, merjumek, dolma, taboule, and babaganoush that my grandmothers and mother made from vegetables grown in their gardens. This food fed our community and our souls, and was good for our bodies and the environment.”

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Currently, Charkoudian is the executive director of Community Mediation Maryland, a non-profit organization that provides training and resources for individuals to mediate disputes within their own communities.

She has a PhD in economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Charkoudian, mother of Aline (age 15) and Raffi (age 12) who were heavily involved in her campaign, was raised in a political family. Her mother, Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian, was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s and currently serves on the Newton Parks and Recreation Commission, representing the commission as she also serves on the Newton Farm Commission.  Her father, Levon Charkoudian, was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Community Affairs under Governor Sargent.

Charkoudian’s family has always had a strong presence and active involvement in the Armenian Community. Two of her grandparents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Her aunt, Arppie Charkoudian, was the International President of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS). Lorig Charkoudian herself attended the AGBU Armenian Elementary School in Watertown.

Charkoudian looks forward to the November 2018 election when she will likely be the first Armenian American to be elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.

More information about Lorig’s campaign and policy platform can be found at https://lorigd20.com

Topics: US Politics




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