LOS ANGELES-Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region conducted an advocacy day at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on April 17–2001–meeting with key members of the California State Assembly and Senate–as well as Governor Gray Davis.
The ANCA-WR representatives–who were in Sacramento to also receive the State Proclamation on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide from Governor Davis–had the opportunity to hold a number of productive meetings with a number of legislators–as well as key staff members in the Capitol. In addition to Governor Davis–the Armenian American community leaders held meetings with State Senators Charles Poochigian and Jackie Speier–as well as State Assembly members Dario Frommer–Carol Liu–and Joe Simitian.
During the meetings with the California elected officials–the ANCA-WR representatives touched on a number of topics–including proper affirmation of the Armenian Genocide–as well as the inclusion of the Genocide curriculum in California schools. In particular–Assemblywoman Carol Liu–who represents the 44th Assembly District–including the communities of La Canada/Flintridge–where a considerable Armenian American community resides–emphasized the importance of having the proper educational material for students and teachers on the subject–referring to the recently published Armenian Genocide 1915-1923 Handbook for Students and Teachers–which the Assemblywoman purchased to distribute to all of the high schools in her district.
Chief among the issues discussed on advocacy day was current proposals to establish a California Trade Office in Yerevan–Armenia. Legislation introduced by State Senator Jack Scott of Pasadena is currently under consideration in the Senate–and similar efforts have also been underway in the State Assembly.
During the meeting with Senator Chuck Poochigian–the ANCA-WR representatives thanked the long-time California political leader for his continued work on behalf of the Armenian American community in ensuring the proper affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Senator Poochigian–again this year–spearheaded the effort in the State Capitol to affirm California’s record on the Armenian Genocide through the legislative process.
As the representative of one of the largest concentration of Armenian Americans anywhere in the United States–Assemblymember Dario Frommer also met with the ANCA-WR delegation. The discussions between the two sides revolved around local issues in the 43rd State Assembly District–which covers the cities of Glendale and Burbank. Both the Assemblymember and the Armenian American leaders pledged to work together to improve the quality of life for all of the district’s constituents. At the same time–Frommer commended the ANCA-WR for its advocacy and education work on behalf of the Armenian American community.
The ANCA-WR delegation also met with newly elected California State Assemblymember Joe Simitian from the Palo Alto area. Simitian–who has been an active community leader in the Northern California area–recently participated in the ANC-San Francisco/Bay Area Annual Hai Tahd Evening program. In the meeting–the Assemblymember thanked the Armenian American representatives for their assistance and support and urged the ANCA-WR to continue with the advocacy work that has had a great effect in California and in the United States generally.
Long-time Armenian American legislator Jackie Speier expressed her gratitude to the ANCA-WR for their leadership in California’s large Armenian American community–and reaffirmed her commitment to issues of concern to the Armenian American community.
"This day of advocacy in Sacramento was a great opportunity for the ANCA-WR to meet with legislators who have been long-time supporters of the ANCA-WR and the Armenian American community," explained Steven J. Dadaian–ANCA-WR chairman. "We were able to present some of the most pressing issues facing our community–and we very much appreciated the willingness on the part of our State representatives committing to move forward a number of these concerns."