ANCA-WR and AYF Advocate For Armenian American Taxi Drivers Rights

Santa Monica taxis

SANTA MONICA—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region and the Armenian Youth Federation are working with Armenian American taxi companies who were refused operational rights by a Santa Monica City Council Taskforce, through a recommendation which would allow the franchise of only five taxi companies to operate within the City. The Santa Monica City Council is scheduled to vote on this recommendation in September.

“When we were approached about this issue a few weeks back, we did a thorough investigation about the process used by the bureaucrats in Santa Monica in awarding franchises,” said Armen Martin, a board member of the ANCA-WR. “That investigation has left us with significant worries about a flawed and potentially discriminatory process. We intend to follow up with Santa Monica city officials as well as other representatives of the area to advocate on behalf of the nearly 300 Armenian American families which will lose their primary source of income if this decision is not reversed.”

“The fact that 6 out of 13 applicants were owned or operated by Armenian Americans and not a single one of them was recommended to win a franchise, speaks volumes,” said Serouj Aprahamian, Executive Director of the AYF. “When you look into it on a deeper level and you see that some of these Armenian American taxi companies had substantially longer operating histories and were stronger companies than some of the companies which were recommended, it certainly raises a concern that the Armenian American owned companies were intentionally discriminated against.”

The ANCA-WR and AYF are planning to meet with Santa Monica City Council members in the coming weeks, to share their concern about the unjustified recommendation.

“We are incredibly grateful that the ANCA-WR and AYF have taken such an interest on this issue,” said Elen Poghosyan of VIP Yellow Cab. “We look forward in working together to help save the livelihoods of over 300 Armenian families in Los Angeles.”

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation, with chapters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, has grown to become the largest Armenian American youth organization. Inspired by the past and motivated by the needs of the future, the AYF actively strives to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of all Armenian youth.

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9 Comments

  1. Westside residentian said:

    Curious to see how many of you have actually consistently taken cabs in Santa Monica? My guess is 0, maybe you’ve taken one here or there, but not enough to know what the fare should be v. what it is. If you had you would have realized that the Armenian cabs will ALWAYS charge more. I am Armenian, I support almost all Armenian causes, but on this one, I’m with the City. If I can help it I never take an Armenian cab driver.

    • Paul said:

      So are you saying that you rather get ripped off by someone else vs an Armenian!!! CHOOSE YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mike said:

    This is a good sign for Armenians the powerful organizations we have such as ARF ANCA AYF AGBU and others should help Armenian Americans in order to survive in this country. No boundaries between Armenians will help us become a stronger people. No POLITICS no boundaries amongst Armenians will help us become stronger!

  3. HartR said:

    Westside residentian:
    You are talking out of your ??.
    how many of us have taken cabs in Santa Monica does nothing to do with discriminatory process.
    so other none Armenian drivers do not charge extra!!?? some do and some don’t either Russians , Persians, Armeians, you can not generalize all.,,, try to work as a taxi driver, I will bet you wont survive one day,
    you are one of these stupid Fs which generalized blacks as thief, Jewish as cheap, whites being lazy and all Hispanics illegal. IT is time for you to move further west from SM to the ocean and drop you no what!

  4. Varooj B. said:

    I don’t understand what is the main argument of Westside residentian’s. If one apple is bad you do not cut the whole tree. If some are charging heigher fare it doen’t mean they have to be kicked out of business. After all these people have families to support and it is their right to enjoy equal opportunity and justice. In addition, the issue here is if there is discrimination against these Armenian cab drivers and try to fix it. And that is why ANCA and AYF has involved. I support both organizations’ effort and hope they reach to an honorable and just solution.

    • Sevag said:

      I also take cabs regularly on the westside for years. If the driver is Armenian, I no longer get into the cab. It is not “generalizing”, it is truth and economics. Yes, there may be some others charging more, but I have yet to see them; but if the driver is Armenian, I will GUARANTEED be charged almost DOUBLE the fare. What the city is doing to the Armenian cab drivers is not right, but what the cab drivers are doing to the residents of the area is also not right. If they charged the same fare as every other cab, they wouldn’t get complaints from the residents and thus the city probably would not have had as big a problem with them. I am not saying we shouldn’t all be fighting the city on this together, as I will support the cab driver’s anti-discriminatory rally against the city because I am Armenian, but everyone needs to be aware of the full truth of why the city is probably discriminating against them. Also, I hope the “no politics, no boundaries” slogan will continue past just the cab drivers issue moving forward.

      • Serouj said:

        If the argument that Santa Monica is denying Armenian owned or operated companies because they charge more were true, why doesn’t the city give this as it’s explanation, offer its reasoning, and scores of each company based on the criteria they laid out? Instead, they have left the companies and the community largely in the dark and postponed the issue over and over again.

        That obviously raises suspicions about what is going on here, and it isn’t their concern for customers being charged too much. That hasn’t been raised at all so far in this whole process.

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