ANCA-WR Meets with California State Assembly Speaker Nunez

met with the California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-46th district) earlier this month to discuss various issues of concern to the Armenian American Community. The ANCA-WR discussed Senate Bill 1524, the Genocide Assets and Recovery Bill which was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on September 25, 2006. The new law provides that Armenian Genocide victims, or their heirs or beneficiaries who reside in the State of California, can have claims arising out of a financial institution’s failure to pay or turn over deposited assets or looted assets from the Genocide era. This will allow cases that bring an action or continue a pending action on these matters in California’s courts. In addition, the ANCA-WR Board members briefed the Speaker on the progress of the California Armenia Trade Office (CATO), which was opened in Yerevan earlier this year with the financial assistance of the California Armenian American community. CATO was created to facilitate commerce between California and Armenia. Speaker Nuez expressed support for the California Armenia Trade Office and pledged to examine possible state funding for the successful endeavor during the next Assembly term. Also on the agenda was the racist campaign attack against the Armenian community during the 43rd Assembly District’s democratic primary last June, during which Candidate Paul Krekorian prevailed against Glendale City Councilman Frank Quintero. An independent expenditure committee, known as the California Latino Leadership Fund, had sponsored racist anti-Armenian mailers against Krekorian in support of Frank Quintero’s campaign. The Speaker condemned these tactics and stated that the Latino Caucus in the Assembly was firmly against this sort of dirty campaigning. Finally, the ANCA discussed the need for greater participation of Armenian Americans within state government through appointmen’s and other opportunities for involvement. Speaker Nuez expressed great interest in considering qualified Armenian American candidates for such positions and expressed a desire to work with the ANCA-WR in this area. Speaker Nunez was first elected to the Assembly in 2002 and was sworn in as Speaker in 2004. If re-elected in the November elections, he will be serving his final term through 2008 due to term-limits. The ANCA is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.

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