Remembering September 11

On this night 20 years ago, 246 people went to sleep in preparation for their morning flights. 2606 people went to sleep in preparation for work in the morning. 343 firefighters went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift. 60 police officers went to sleep in preparation for their morning shift of saving lives. None of them saw past 10:00 Sept 11, 2001. I was in my American Government class. All our eyes fixated on every Television that morning at Twin Falls High School. I looked around the classroom, noticed the paralyzing disbelief of my American friends and the relieved, traumatic memories of my refugee friends. Experiencing PTSD flashbacks of atrocities my own refugee family survived I did not know how to process the day. I was in yearbook club and took pictures of people crying, hugging, coping, grieving together that night at Twin Falls City Park vigil. I miss America the day after 9/11, there was no division, not by color, not by politics, not by religion, not by immigration status. I remember the way it felt. Do you remember? 9/11 affected all of us, born, naturalized, immigrated, documented, undocumented it was an attack all Americans. Americans from all walks of life united in a historic way to reopen and rebuild. We rolled up our sleeves to honor the fallen by supporting, defending and bringing back life without fear back to America. We were united by our pain, compassion and strength. With 641,000 American Covid-19 deaths, we still see a Nation divided, some hesitating to roll up their sleeves, get vaccinated and support frontline workers saving lives. We said “we will never forget,” but somehow it shows that we did indeed forget. That’s a tragedy unto itself. God Bless all who sacrifice and serve. #September11 #NeverForget #FrontlineWorkers #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncil

Idaho Medical Marijuana-Act Petitions

We are ignoring the biggest threat to public health and safety in our community. The meth and opioid epidemic is spreading and destroying families in our community. The war on drugs has failed the American people. The status quo is to stigmatize, shame, criminalize instead of addressing the underlying factors. Learn more about my Healthy Community platform on and my commitment to working towards solutions. I am your only Twin Falls City Council candidate collecting signatures for the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act – Petition. Marijuana is not the gateway, that arguments has been thrown out the window long ago. The real gateways are the cycles of violence, mental health, chronic poverty, childhood abuse & trauma in our City, County and State. Meeting and talking to people in Twin Falls who live with chronic pain, or have loved ones suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson, immune disorders, chronic depression and PTSD – medical marijuana is part of the solution to these health conditions. We are getting signatures in support from every voter demographic, age, political and faith background of you can imagine. I am being upfront about where I stand on medical marijuana, you bet when the time comes I will vote YES!! We need a City Council that doesn’t suppress the vote of the people when medical marijuana passes statewide. Election day is Nov 2nd – register and vote right there at the county building, then come sign this petition! #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncilSeat5 #ThePeopleFirst #Idaho #MedicalMarijuana #Petition

Small Business Advocate

I can’t believe this moment and that I’m sitting here right now!! Completely honored to be invited to the “Women in Small Business Roundtable” with Sen. Risch and the National Women’s Business Council Small business is the heart and soul of middle class America. The NWBC is a federal advisory committee established to provide advice and policy recommendations to the U.S. President, Congress and the Small Business Administration on issues related to women’s business enterprise. Proud to influence policy changes, advocate and support the small businesses in rural America! Proud to represent small businesses in Twin Falls! Thank you Idaho Women’s Business Center for this incredible opportunity. 🙏🏼 #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncil #smallbusinessowner #advocate #NationalWomensBusinessCouncil

Affordable Housing & Rental Crisis

I had the honor of meeting David and his caregiver today. They registered to vote for the first time and will be voting in this City Council election. 🙌🏽 He gave me permission to share his story. David is a single father of two, struggling to find affordable housing in Twin Falls. After surviving an accident leaving him paralyzed, he was overwhelmed with medical bills and finding a place to live. He has been on a waiting list for over two years!! Currently 90% of his disability check goes to rent an tiny apartment that is NOT accessible.

Each time you submit an application for housing it cost at least $25. How can someone on disability income afford these applications fees with $60 to survive with after paying rent? We need multi-income access to housing in Twin Falls for families on limited income, seniors, veterans and individuals living with disabilities. Locals have been prices out of the housing and renting market to out of State residents moving in who can afford the inflated prices. This housing crisis, price gouging, lack of housing options and homelessness is the reality for families in our community face.

Affordable housing is a priority issues for my Twin Falls City Council election. Read about my platforms on What David, veterans, seniors,students, and limited income families experience in TF housing is unacceptable. Every family deserves a decent place to live in, without choosing between rationing food, heat or medicine. #ThePeopleFirst #VoteBabayan #Nov2nd #TwinFallsCityCouncilSeat5

The Opioid, Meth & Heroin Crisis in Twin Falls

Asking tax payers to pay for the expansion of jails is nonsense. Property owners are tired of being taxed. The status quo has failed the public, sweeping real issues under the rug for decades. We need out of the box thinking and leadership that in touch with reality. We are ignoring the biggest threat to public health and safety in Twin Falls. I’m speaking out on behalf of the struggling families and the children trapped in this cycle of addiction.

When you find used needles walking on the Canyon Rim, we have a problem. When a child is killed in daylight (in one of our nicer neighborhoods) in a drive by, we have a problem. When downtown businesses are affected by the daily drug activity on Main Ave, we have a problem. When everyone you talk to, has a loved one or knows of someone recovering from, or addicted to opioids, we have a REAL community problem!

The War on Drugs is a disaster and has failed the American people! This failed policy is embedded in our current criminal justice system. We won’t arrest our way out of it. We won’t shame our way out of it. We won’t ignore our way out of it. Meth, pills, heroine are available faster and cheaper in our Twin Falls, including our schools and the hookup is just $10 and call away. Forget the taboo stereotype of a dirty, street junkie, this opioid epidemic has no stereotype. Your spouse, clean dresses neighbor, soccer mom, church goer friend, grandfather, Veteran, professional co-worker or straight A, athlete teenage son/daughter is the stereotype and statistic.

I’ve lived through this cycle of addiction, experience loved ones and friends struggle in out the traps of substance abuse. Lost too many to overdose. I am not taking away the blame from individuals who make bad choices in life, but the choices people make in life are from the choices they are given. At least for our community in Twin Falls we can offer better choices. By breaking the silence, centering mental health and take real action to address cycles of addition.

I propose a NEW public policy & THROWING THE WAR ON DRUGS POLICY in to the trashcan!! One action City Council could take is, develop a task force composed of people who first hand experienced addiction cycles, work in substance addiction programs, abuse counselors, law enforcement, recovery nonprofits, health providers and faith leaders from the community to focus on tackling this complex epidemic. There are private and Federal grants available to support our efforts outlined by this task force to strengthen community partnerships, education and mental health services.

These are uncomfortable conversations which we need our leadership to hold around mental health and addiction cycles. I am committed, ready to co-create solutions for the well being of our children, our families & our community as your Councilwoman. 🙌🙏 #ThePeopleFirst #OpioidEpidemic #VoteBabayan #Nov2nd #TwinFallsCityCouncil

Presenting my book “Liminal” in Congress

When you are invited to Washington D.C. to present your book in Congress. 🙌🏽 I am deeply honored to share my family’s genocide survivor story with members of Congress today. Wish me luck!! 🙏🏽 I wish my grandparents were alive to witness this day!! Meeting and presenting my testimony to Foreign Affairs Committee members today. I dedicate this day and my book “Liminal, a refugee memoir ” to the memory of my beloved Aunt Lola Ter Simonyan, murdered in the ethnic killings in Baku, Azerbaijan. I am grateful for this once lifetime opportunity. Proud to represent Twin Falls everywhere this book takes me. #proudmoment #Idaho #refugee #author #LiminalMemoir


WOW ✌🏽🇺🇸 THANK YOU VOTERS! Beyond grateful for the overwhelming support, texts and calls!! I haven’t responded to your individual messages since being in the hospital last few days with my little girl. (she also had a little election party in her room 😊) Thank you for celebrating and honoring this amazingly exciting, diversely engaging and inspiring campaign we ran together. Extremely thankful to God for this beautiful life of freedom, the opportunity to run in elections and contribute to community & country. 🙏🏼

Many thanks to my family, treasurer Armand Eckert, campaign contributors, student volunteers and ambassadors. Thank you to the voters!! Especially the first time voters, I’m proud to have earned your first vote. Humbled and even more inspired after seeing that we doubled our votes since the last election and in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t changed my platform, was not backed by any special interest group, PAC, major corporations or church.

This increasing, organic voter support for a candidate who is a refugee to Twin, small business owner, a woman of color, a single mother and is pro medical marijuana … is pretty badass to see. 🙌🏽 IMPRESSES & INSPIRED by how many votes we gained this election. Inspired by YOU. Thank you to each person who supported & amplified #ThePeopleFirst campaign 🇺🇸✌🏽🥰 we are just getting started. If I can run, so can you – if you want to know how, contact me. #inspired #local #election #energy #empower #engage #civicduty #thisisTwinFalls

Early Voting is October 21-Nov 1st #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncil

Selfie with my first early voter today!!  Early voting started this week! Only about 2000 people vote in Twin Falls and decide on issues that affect our entire community. GO VOTE!! Early voting is Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Twin Falls County Building. You can register and vote right there same time. Love the photos sent to me. Thank you for supporting me #EarlyVoting #ThePeopleFirst #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncilSeat4

Thank you for the Support!!

Love getting pictures like this from families support me for Twin Falls City Council.  Proud of how my campaign is connecting with people on real issues affecting our community. The most urgent issue, outside of the opioid/heroin/meth epidemic facing Twin Falls today is the housing crisis, specifically the gap in affordable housing for lower income families. Poverty and homelessness is on the rise in Twin Falls. Our most vulnerable living on fixed income, are our senior citizens, veterans and individuals with disabilities. These families face food insecurity, forced to choose between paying for medicine, heat or housing. We can do better, and must do better. Learn more about my Affordable Housing platform and keep sharing your photos with me!! Early voting starts Oct 18th, inside the TF County Building  #ThePeopleFirst #VoteBabayan #TwinFallsCityCouncil #Nov2nd

Pizza & Politics at CSI Student Union

WOW!! What an exciting turn out of young voters supporting me for Twin Falls City Council. 💯🙌🏽 Democracy in Action! I love when they say “I finally feel there is a candidate who represents me that I can vote for.” Love that they are engaged and excited about their civic duty!! That is such an honor and responsibility for me to represent their authentic voices. Loved meeting each of you at Pizza and Politics at CSI today, and listening, listening and hearing the issues that matter to our younger demographic. Affordable Housing, Safe Community, Transportation, Diversity – among my focus platforms on Thank you for trusting me with your vote and voice!! #YoungVoters #ThePeopleFirst #VoteBabayan #Nov5th #CityCouncilElections Thank you CSI