ANCA-WR Applauds LA Superior Court Decision to Issue Temporary Restraining Order Against City of Santa Monica


LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order against the City of Santa Monica’s decision to award a taxi franchise that excluded every Armenian-owned taxi company in the city on Wednesday, December 22.

The temporary restraining order is based on a lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica by the Taxi Drivers Association, a newly formed coalition of Armenian owned and operated taxi companies and drivers, which seeks compensation for ethnic based discrimination. The restraining order sets the hearing for a preliminary injunction and delays the start of the franchises in January.

“We are very pleased to announce that our effort on behalf of the Armenian-owned and operated taxi cabs in Santa Monica has led to victory in the first legal hurdle,” said attorney Nora Hovsepian, Community Relations Chair at the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region. “The ANCA-WR took the lead in laying the groundwork and amassing the evidence to build a case for discrimination against the City of Santa Monica and today’s temporary restraining order is an indication that there are enough legal grounds to challenge the City’s decision to exclude the Armenian owned companies.”

The ANCA-WR and the Armenian Youth Federation led the charge on behalf of the taxi drivers: attending and speaking at the Santa Monica City Council, meeting with individual council members, persistently requesting public records disclosures, conducting a public relations campaign to raise awareness of this issue and through all these efforts – developing the foundation for a lawsuit against the City.

“This is an extremely important breakthrough in the ongoing struggle to secure justice for the taxi drivers of Santa Monica,” said Serouj Aprahamian, Executive Director of the Armenian Youth Federation. “It is incumbent upon us to continue standing in solidarity with those fighting for a fair, more inclusive awarding of taxi franchises in Santa Monica. As Armenian-American youth, we vow to remain vigilant on this, and any other, matter affecting the well-being of our community.”

After months of groundwork – raising awareness of the issues and documenting the discrimination charge compiled by the ANCA-WR – the law office of Geragos and Geragos was retained to take this matter up within the legal system. Tamar Arminak of Geragos’ office successfully convinced the court to grant the temporary restraining order. The next step will be to turn the Temporary Restraining Order into a preliminary injunction thereby preventing the City of Santa Monica from excluding Armenian taxi drivers in 2011.

“This action could save the jobs and livelihood of at least 300 Armenian families who rely on their income from taxi cabs operating exclusively in Santa Monica, and we expect further legal victories to achieve permanent justice for them,” Nora Hovsepian a community activist involved in the issue said.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization which advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

The Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.

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5 Comments

  1. Norin Radd said:

    Truly a wonderful and meaningful effort by the AYF and the ANCA. I am a member of neither but can proudly say that all of you did a wonderful job on this VERY noble cause. Lots of kudos to the Geragos and Geragos law firm for taking a stand on this on behalf of those blue collar Armenian taxi drivers that were being pushed around by cowled politicians in Santa Monica and their wealthy masters.

    It is high time that those that would make concerted efforts to squeeze and bully our community members realize that those days are done with. Armenians will not tolerate nor sit idly by while their collective rights and livelihood is threatened by mysterious spontaneous movements to redistribute opportunities by those that cannot fairly earn such opportunities the way hard working Armenians have.

    This whole process was clearly nothing more than political maneuvering to wrestle away from Armenians the Taxi routes which Armenian cabbies had developed into a lucrative network over the past 15 years. Why was there no issue raised on licensing 10 years ago or 20 years ago? The answer is simple, back then, the business side of things was not lucrative enough to catch the eye of Santa Monica string pullers (we all know who they are), once the business side of things was developed enough by Armenian cab companies, these so called “other companies” knew that only a cleverly poised “ordinance” law would allow them to wrestle control away from the Armenian cabbies that had established themselves amidst this business.

    The Santa Monica City counsel members individually should also be held liable in court if possible as well as their puppeteers for this racist and malicious move to stifle the hard earned opportunities of our blue collar workers and their families. The Armenian communities of the United States and the rest of the world will not suffer assailment with impunity.

    Hye yegpayrner yev kuyrikner, miyatzetz eis pes yev desek vontz mer tshnamineren ke sarsapen. Mi ein miyastzatz menk karox mezi pashtpanel.

    • John K. said:

      Absolutely agree with everything you said Norin. We should
      sue those racist councilmen personally for the pain and suffering
      they caused to our blue color workers. We should hit them where it
      hearts the most, in their pockets.

  2. Pingback: LA Superior Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Santa Monica | Armenian Sources Genocide History Poetry Food Music Human Rights Issues

  3. arziv said:

    Who are these underground critters of Santa Monica council ? This is not enough, we must pursue these worms back into their dugouts. We must sue and litigate for willful discrimination. A class action suit or single out the individual councillors and sue them for brazen discriminatory practices. Attack the scoundrels and teach them a lesson . This is tantamount to what the ottomans subjected us to periodically. First they allowed us to prosper, then they came and plundered and dispossesed us of our wealth. Then they allowed us another 20 years of respite to build up wealth, and then they came back with more plunder and dispossesion and so it went on for centuries. Now these swindlers in Santa monica are trying to imitate the ” parasite’s ” technique.

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