Hello! Let me introduce myself. My name is Elina, and I am 100 percent Armenian. My family’s home was originally in Armenia. However, over time, my people experienced multiple religious / land dispute upheavals, which forced them out of their homes. They were part of the Armenian genocide that happened before I was born. My people then resettled in Baku, Azerbaijan, where I was born. When I was 4, the country experienced a territorial and or religious upheaval. My family’s apartment was broken into, and we were given a choice. LEAVE AND LIVE OR STAY AND DIE. My family left with nothing but the clothes on our backs. My grandfather had two mismatching shoes. We, along with many other families, were loaded into a bus and dropped off at the railroad tracks. That is where we stayed for what seemed like weeks. We then boarded an airplane, were dropped off in Moscow, and were told to scatter. The families refused to leave the plane until the country gave us a home. They did, a rat-infested dirty hotel that, by all US standards, would be uninhabitable.
At that time, my father came back into the picture. He was working on paperwork to come to the US. Before that time, my father and my mother were separated. I remember living with my mom’s side of the family. He came to Moscow, picked us up, and took us to Rostov-on-Don, where he and his family resided. It took him years to get approved. Finally, in November of 1993, we came to the US. I remember our first apartment at 923 S 10th St and my first phone number (402-438-4454). My brother and I thought that the apartment was a mansion because what we are used to is a one-room dwelling place. Most people would not be able to imagine having 4 people live in that environment, but we did. My brother and I thought the door stoppers (the boingy ones) in our apartment were anti-theft devices.
Eleven months later, my father died in a car accident. That time is what I remember of my father. So, I can say that I did not have a father figure for most of my childhood life. I pressed on. I remember going to Everett Elementary. I vividly recall my teachers: Mrs. Cherry and Mrs. Maestas (4th-grade ESL), Mrs. Butzke (4th-grade homeroom), Mrs. Lybarger (5th-grade homeroom), and Mrs. Shelton (5th-grade math teacher). I also recall the principal, Mr. Zimmerman. I remember being told that the class would be making and eating dirt cake. I was scared. I later found out it was chocolate pudding. I knew ZERO English. I remember needing a translator who then left.
At the start of 6th grade, I landed at Lincoln Christian. I graduated in 2002, as a salutatorian of my class. Penne (Miss Penne) and John Hanus (Uncle John) … don’t ask … have a special place in my heart as they were my family’s rock! I consider them to be my parental figures. This is where I found my faith. Notice I said FAITH and not religion. Those are two different things. I am a believer. I walk the walk, talk the talk, and do the deed. I love all the same. I am open to conversations. I am open to sharing my point of view. I will accept you for you. I am not the JUDGE and will not judge you for your decisions. I will respect you, and in turn, expect the same respect in return. A lot of my views on topics stem from my faith. They stem from what I believe, what I believe I am being called to as a child of God.
Since high school, I have graduated from UNL with a BA in Psychology and minors in English and Sociology, the University of Phoenix with an MS in psychology, and obtained a PhD from Northcentral University. I am the first in my family to earn a PhD. I am an educator at a college here in town. I am a tutor, mentor, and advocate for all things education. I have my own editing business. I am a Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician at a local pharmacy. I am a wife to an amazing man, Matthew, a mother to an amazing daughter, Annalise, and a grandmother to a grand-fur baby, Ollie. For fun, when I have time (HA), my husband and I competitively dance. I am busy, but I would not have it any other way.
Needless to say, I know what it is like to be the poorest of the poor. I know the struggle. I have never been liked by people my age. I have been told more times than I can remember that I was too mature for my age, and, when one has lived the life I have lived, that is not surprising.
I believe in truth and transparency. Those two traits have become platforms for my campaign and have guided everything I do in life. I have never been interested in politics until July 2020 when the riots started. Now, more than ever, things look incredibly similar to what my family fled years ago. I am not in this for money as I believe money is the problem with and in politics in the first place. I am a conservative, independent candidate. At the end of the day, I want people to vote for me and what I stand for rather than the letter after my name.
Why am I a perfect candidate for the Lincoln City Council? I have FIVE reasons:
- I will do everything in my power to protect the rights that have been granted to us, THE PEOPLE, in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I lived in tyranny for the first 10 years of my life. No more.
- I am an immigrant from a communist country. That means that I have experienced, firsthand, what it is like to have nothing. I know what it is like to have the government own everything. I know what it is like to live on food rations. My mother always told me stories of how my grandfather would stand in line early in the morning to make sure we had bread. I remember hot water being on from 4 pm to 6 pm. I remember my mom boiling water to give me and my brother baths and then emptying the tub, bucket by bucket, down flights of stairs for disposal. I grew up in a country with no police. I was forced out of a country where police were non-existent.
- I am an educator. That has been my one and only mission in life. I want to educate people: the good, the bad, the ugly. My goal is to give you information, ALL INFORMATION. Then, you decide what’s best for you and your unique circumstance.
- I am a healthcare worker. I have been in healthcare for 17 years. When I was very young, I wandered out of my aunt’s and accidentally walked into a surgery. Healthcare is one of my passions, and freedom to make your own healthcare decisions is the MOST FUNDAMENTAL right that you have as an individual. NO ONE should be making healthcare decisions for you. You need to be INFORMED on every issue as it pertains to the treatment you receive. I am not a doctor, no, but as a healthcare professional, I have taken an oath as well, an oath to educate, protect, and not harm.
- I am a small business owner. I am fortunate enough that my business can be carried on from my home, but I know many people do not have that luxury. I know the grind. I know the hard work that it takes to run a successful business and how quickly that all can shatter.
- I am in support of your second amendment rights. I have my conceal-and-carry permit. I have been through the class. I have been educated on the current paperwork that is in place now (no need to change it, in my opinion) and what a prospective registry would look like. I am dead set on protecting your and my rights. I lived in tyranny for the first 10 years of my life. No more.
My platform premises are very simple:
- Protect our God-given rights,
- Uphold the Constitution,
- Hold those in power, myself included, accountable, and
- Make decisions based on facts from multiple, reliable sources.
I AM the definition of fierce when it comes to ambition and goals. Once I put my mind to something, I will give it all I got. I will do my best for you and your family. THAT IS A PROMISE THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON!