The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region announced its endorsement of long-time friend of the Armenian community Kevin De León in the Los Angeles Mayoral race during a press conference on Tuesday at the St. Garabed Armenian Church and the Alex Pilibos School complex in Little Armenia.
“Kevin de León has been a stalwart friend and ally of the Armenian community throughout his distinguished career as an Assemblymember and Senator in the California State Legislature, and recently as a Los Angeles City Councilmember, from his work to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide every year to his crucial support for legislation that recognized the independence and right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh to assisting Armenian community programs at the local level,” remarked Chair of the ANCA-WR Nora Hovsepian, Esq. during the conference. “Mr. De León will bring over a decade of friendship, legislative experience on Armenian issues, and a commitment to empowering local communities to the Mayoral office that we wholeheartedly embrace as we continue to build upon the excellent relationship we have had with all Los Angeles Mayors,” Hovsepian continued.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life to represent the Armenian community in Los Angeles for the last decade; which is why I am so proud to have the support of ANCA-WR,” said Councilmember Kevin de León.
“Together we put Little Armenia on the map, and as the Leader of the California Senate – I led our state to officially recognize the Republic of Artsakh; appointed Armenians to prominent statewide commissions; and made sure our students would learn from the horrors of the Armenian Genocide to always fight injustice. As Mayor, I will lift up those who have historically been overlooked; and give my Armenian brothers and sisters a real voice in City Hall,” he continued.
Also present at the conference were ANCA-WR Board members, Government Affairs Committee members, community leaders, and Armenian media representatives.
Kevin De León previously served as an Assemblymember in the California State Legislature representing the 45th District from 2006 to 2010 covering Hollywood and, specifically, Little Armenia – home to St. Garabed Armenian Church, Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, and the headquarters of Asbarez Daily Newspaper and Horizon Armenian Television. From 2010 to 2018, De León served first as a member of the California State Senate representing the 22nd and later the 24th Senate District during which he covered the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles, respectively. Since 2020, De León has served as Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 14th District, covering Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights, Highland Park and Downtown Los Angeles.
De León has represented a diverse cross-section of the Armenian-American community of Los Angeles throughout his time in office, and is well acquainted with the Armenian-American community’s priorities and interests. De León was honored with the ANCA-WR’s ‘Legislator of the Year’ Award at its 2014 Gala Banquet for his long-standing commitment to representing the Armenian-American community and integral role in California’s recognition of the Republic of Artsakh, and has remained steadfast in his support since, playing a significant role in securing $3 million for the construction of the Armenian American Museum, and the allocation of $10 million for programs related to incorporating Armenian Genocide education into the public school curriculum.
In 2014, De León was chosen to become the California Senate President Pro-Tempore, leading the upper house of the California State Legislature and becoming the first Latino elected to the office in more than 130 years. His commitment to diversity and community empowerment has extended to his constituents, from facilitating assistance to the Armenian Relief Society’s Hollywood Social Service Center, to highlighting the Armenian community’s significant impact on the cultural fabric of Los Angeles by working to put Little Armenia on the map and securing internationally renowned French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – as well as endorsing and empowering Armenian candidates.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential 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.