Hearing Addresses Youth Violence

* Youth panels testify to state–city and judicial officials.

PASADENA–Senator Adam Schiff–Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Juvenile Justice–held an interim hearing of the committee–titled "Combating Youth Violence" from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Glendale Central Library–222 E. Harvard St. The hearing–organized in partnership with the Glendale Unified School District and the City of Glendale–featured panels comprised of youth representatives testifying to state–city and judicial officials.

"The recent tragic stabbing death of Raul Aguirre in Glendale points to the fact that as community leaders we must re-examine our efforts to discourage youth violence," said Senator Schiff. "As the community fashions solutions–it is imperative that we hear from the group most affected – our young people. This hearing gave our youth the opportunity to voice their concerns about violence and offer their solutions."

Senator Schiff was joined by Senator Hilda Solis; Assembly members Tony Cardenas and Scott Wildman; Glendale City Councilman Rafi Manoukian–Glendale School Board member Chuck Sambar and Pam Ellis and Presiding Judge Terry B. Friedman of the Juvenile Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The first youth panel testified regarding "Challenges Facing Youth: A Local Perspective." A second panel testified regarding "Local and Regional Solutions to Combating Youth Violence." A third panel talked about "Local Programs Addressing Youth Issues and Concerns." The youth on the panels were nominated by Clark Magnet School; Roosevelt Middle School; Allan Daily–Hoover–Glendale and Crescenta Valley high schools; the We Care for Youth organization; the Glendale Youth Coalition; the Glendale Youth Alliance; Homenetmen; Armenian Relief Society; New Horizons Family Center; the AGBU Young Professionals mentoring program; Gaidz Youth Organization and the Glendale YMCA.

Panelists included–Romik Kazaryan of Allan Daily Continuation High School (Glendale Youth Coalition)–Anita Avakian of Crescenta Valley High School–Margaret Khachikyan of Glendale High School (New Horizons Family Center)–Andre Manukyan of Glendale High School (Glendale Youth Coalition)–Nayiri Gharibian of Glendale High School (Gaidz Youth Organization)–Artiom Badalyan (Armenian Relief Society)–Eddie Karibyan of Glendale High School grad/GCC freshman (YMCA) and Ara Mahdessian (Homenetmen).

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