SACRAMANETO—The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region on Monday held its most successful annual California Advocacy Day to date, galvanizing over 600 Armenian Americans from across the State who brought issues of importance to the community and the Cause to the State’s Capitol.
The jam packed day included Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemorative Ceremonies on the State Assembly and State Senate floors, a two hour long reception with State legislators hosted by the newly established Armenian Caucus, which include Assemblymembers Katcho Achadjian, Adrin Nazarian, and Scott Wilk on the front lawn of the Capitol building, tours of the Armenian exhibit at the California Museum and the Capitol building, and over 80 meetings with officials, where participants were able to educate their representatives and advocate for divestment of California’s public pension funds from Turkish government investment vehicles, re-affirmation of California’s long history of Armenian Genocide recognition, and Artsakh’s independence and right to self-determination. Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and Western Primate Archbishop Hovan Derderian provided moving invocations on the State Assembly and Senate floors respectively.
Featured in the Capitol Rotunda was the ANCA-WR’s exhibit showcasing its “America We Thank You” tribute to Near East Relief, in order to educate the public about the role of the American People, and specifically the people of California, in rescuing hundreds of thousands of refugees and orphans who survived the Armenian Genocide by raising $117 million ($2.7 billion present value) and administering over 400 orphanages, hospitals, food & clothing distribution centers, and vocational training schools throughout the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1930. Many of the activists participating in Advocacy Day were the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of orphans who were saved by Near East Relief and had their own personal stories to tell.
Asbarez will provide more detailed coverage of this event in coming days.