Rep. Laura Richardson To Cosponsor Armenian Genocide Legislation

WASHINGTON – The Armenian National Committee of America has learned that Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA-37) has pledged to cosponsor the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 252).  The bill currently has over 125 cosponsors in the United States House of Representatives.

“I am proud to co-sponsor H. Res. 252, the “Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution,” Rep. Richardson told the ANCA.  “April 24 marked the 94th anniversary of one of the darkest and saddest chapters in human history, the mass deportations and massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the years 1915-1923. The systematic killing of innocent Armenian civilians by the Turks was an unprecedented act of cruelty and barbarism and is, with the exception of the Holocaust, perhaps the ultimate example of man’s inhumanity to man. There is only one word that adequately describes this kind of evil and that word is ‘genocide.’ And we dare not be afraid to speak its name.”

Richardson continued to note that “The International Association of Genocide Scholars and nearly all credible agree that Armenians were the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century. But for more than 90 years Turkey has refused to acknowledge this crime against humanity. And to their credit, Armenian-Americans have worked tirelessly to ensure that the world never forgets what happened during his dark moment in world history. Passage of the H.R. 252 will ensure that the Armenian Genocide will never be forgotten by the Congress, and thus the people, of the United States. I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass this important and long overdue resolution and will not rest until it does.”

Congresswoman Richardson replaced former Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, a strong supporter of issues of concern to Armenian Americans until her passing on April 22, 2007. Richardson prevailed in a Special Election that took place August 21, 2007 and won re-election in 2008.

The Armenian American community of the South Bay has had a long and productive relationship with the Congresswoman, dating back to her days as a Long Beach City Councilmember. In 2006, Richardson was elected to represent California’s 55th State Assembly District which includes the cities of Carson, Harbor City, Lakewood, Long Beach and Wilmington.

“I am very proud that the Armenian American community’s longtime friend and ally – Rep. Richardson – has again cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution,” said Armenian community activist Armand Aghakhanian, who met with Richardson last week.

“Increased Congressional support for this vital human rights measure not only honors the memory of the innocent men, women, and children killed during the Genocide, but demonstrates American will to end the cycle of genocide.”

Richardson earned her Bachelor Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. In 1987, she joined Xerox Corporation where she gained significant business experience in a Fortune 40 company. Richardson received her Masters Degree in Business Administration in 1996 from the University of Southern California.  She considers her studies abroad in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai as critical learning experiences.

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