LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.—The Orange County chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America met with California Senate Republican leader Pat Bates (Laguna Niguel) as part of its ongoing efforts to reach out to local and state officials to discuss issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
ANCA-OC representatives presented a brief overview of the vast Armenian community of Orange County including two vibrant churches, an Armenian day school and three Saturday schools, the community center which serves as a hub for many of the Armenian organizations including political, social, youth, athletic, cultural and philanthropic organizations, and the Armenian Relief Society Karni chapter in her district.
Senator Bates discussed her long history in public office serving as member of the Laguna Niguel City Council, Orange County Board of Supervisors, CA State Assembly and now as the Minority Leader of the California Senate. She emphasized her unwavering dedication to the preservation of historical facts including her continued support for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Senator Bates’ voting record has been consistently supportive for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the California State Legislature.
ANCA OC members asked for her support on helping passage of California State Assembly Bill 1597 (Nazarian) which divests California’s public pension funds from Turkish government investment vehicles, such as bonds. Currently, over $500 million of California pension funds, including CalSTRS and CalPERS, are invested in Turkish security instruments.
The Minority Leader was receptive and supportive of AB1597, and was confident the bill would pass in the Senate as a bi-partisan effort appears to be guiding AB 1597; it was passed by an overwhelming majority of 67-0 by both parties in the California State Assembly last month. The bill currently awaits to be heard on July 10 in the Senate’s Public Employment and Retirement committee. The bill, originally authored by Assemblyman Nazarian, D-Van Nuys is co-authored by Sen. Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, in the Senate.
“I appreciate the opportunity to nurture a stronger relationship with Orange County’s Armenian American community. Armenian Americans are an integral part of our nation and I look forward to continuing the dialogue to address issues of state and local importance,” said Bates.
ANCA OC and the Senate Republican Leader agreed to keep working together in the future on state and local issues of concern.