Portantino, Melekian Join Pasadena Genocide Memorial Committee

Anthony Protantino and Pasadena Police Chief Bernard K. Melekian

PASADENA—The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) announced that former State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and former Pasadena Police Chief Bernard K. Melekian have joined the PASAGMC as members of the board of directors.

The PASAGMC said it recognizes their long commitment and dedication to public service and is honored to have Portantino and Melekian join the PASAGMC for the success of this historical project.

Anthony Portantino recently retired as the San Gabriel Valley-based 44th State Assembly District Assemblymember. Portantino has had a close relationship with the Armenian-American Community ever since his service as Mayor and Councilmember of the city of La Canada Flintridge. He has repeatedly been recognized as “Legislator of the Year” by prominent community organizations. As Mayor, he issued a city proclamation commemorating the Armenian Genocide, and as a Legislator he was a proud coauthor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, which urged the President and Congress to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Bernard K. Melekian was the Police Chief for the City of Pasadena for more than 13 years, and has also served as the acting Fire Chief and Interim City Manager for the City of Pasadena. He has received the Medal of Valor award in 1978 and the Medal of Courage award in 1980. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Melekian as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) on October 5, 2009. As Director of the COPS Office, Melekian leads an organization responsible for working closely with the nation’s state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance the safety of communities. Bernard Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, and, as a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.

Portantino and Melekian are joined by notable community leaders on the PASAGMC Board. The Chairman of the PASAGMC is former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian; ANCA – Pasadena Treasurer David George Gevorkyan, who serves as the Chief Financial Officer; Sergeant Greg Afsharian of the Pasadena Police Department, who serves as the Secretary of Records; prominent Architect and community leader Mike Yousefian; and, ANCA – Pasadena Chair and Development Consultant Shoghig Yepremian who chairs the PASAGMC Genocide Memorial Review Panel.

Anthony Portantino stated that he is “…humbled and honored to have been asked to serve on the board of this important and very necessary Genocide Recognition project.  The San Gabriel Valley’s strong connection to the Armenian-American community and the unwavering support for Genocide recognition in our area is something of which to be proud.  Being part of a project that will commemorate, respect, and educate generations about the first Genocide of the 20th Century and the death of 1.5 million innocent Armenians is a responsibility and honor that I will cherish.”

The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) convened an independent review panel of 3 distinguished professional judges to review and rank all 17 design proposals that were received for the Armenian Genocide Memorial project proposed to be located in Memorial Park in the City of Pasadena. One of the judges is Stefanos Polyzoides of Moule & Polyzoides; Ruben Amirian, who is a prominent architect/artist who has served on the design review board and the historic commission in Glendale; and, Neshan Peroomian who is a contractor and a distinguished Armenian-American community leader.

The PASAGMC has the active support and involvement of many community organizations and institutions including the Pasadena Art Center that submitted six (6) Genocide Memorial proposals. The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee (PASAGMC) continues its work with the Pasadena community and city agencies on the establishment of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in the City’s designated location of Memorial Park to commemorate the inhumane acts of man against humanity in the internationally recognized crime of Genocide.


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