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.