Praises Local Armenian-American Community for Heeding Call to Participate
LOS ANGELES—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) congratulates Gil Cedillo, Monica Rodriguez, Nick Melvoin, and Kelly Gonez on their election victories during Tuesday’s LA General Election, commends Karo Torossian, Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for a hard fought election campaign, and praises the Armenian American community for an unprecedented level of activism in the LA General electoral contests held on May 16.
Though results are not yet officially sealed by the clerk, the outcome of the election results is not likely to change based on the number of provisional ballots yet to be counted.
Commenting on the outcome of the election, ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian noted “While we would have liked to see a different outcome having endorsed candidates with a strong track record of support on Armenian-American priorities and issues, we will always be on the frontlines, working with all elected officials to advance issues of importance to our community and the Armenian Cause.”
In the LA City Council District 1 race, ANCA-WR endorsed candidate Cedillo won his re-election bid by garnering 70.85 percent of the votes against Joe Bray-Ali, while former Board of Public Works Commissioner Monica Rodriguez claimed victory over Karo Torossian who was just 833 votes shy of becoming the 2nd Armenian-American to serve on the City Council. If the results hold after provisionals are counted, Rodriguez will represent the rapidly growing Armenian-American community, which has moved into the cities of Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar and Van Nuys in recent years.
In the Los Angeles Board of Education races, candidates backed by the Charter Schools Association, which spent an unprecedented sum of over 13 million dollars against Zimmer and Padilla, and for Melvoin and Gonez, won both seats, tipping over the LAUSD Board of Education to a majority charter representation. Between Rodriguez who was backed by Chevron and Zimmer and Padilla who became targets of the CCSA, the LA General Elections marked record-breaking spending by Independent Expenditures in the history of any local election in the US.
In District 4, which includes parts of the the San Fernando Valley, Little Armenia and stretches all the way to the Westside, challenger Nick Melvoin defeated school board President Steve Zimmer with a 14.8 point margin. Zimmer is a dear friend of the Armenian community, the Armenian Cause and a dedicated leader who truly cared for the city’s schools, students, and parents.
In District 6, Kelly Gonez accumulated more votes than Imelda Padilla, a community activist and labor organizer. Similar to the LA City Council District 7 race, not including the provisional ballots yet to be counted, Padilla fell only 749 votes short of taking office.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the leading advocacy organization advancing the interests of the Armenian-American community. In this capacity, we believe it is our duty and obligation to engage in a vigorous endorsement process by evaluating and interviewing candidates for political offices which are of importance to us, and then choosing to endorse those candidates who we believe share our interests and concerns. The civic engagement of the Armenian-American community in the election process is vital to successful outcomes for candidates endorsed by the organization and has the potential of affecting election outcomes in many races.