MONTEBELLO—Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America’s San Gabriel Valley Chapter met with Assemblymember Cristina Garcia to discuss a number of initiatives of importance to the Armenian-American community, including the recent passage of H.Res.296, Divest Turkey, Census 2020 and the state ethnic studies curriculum.
“The assemblymember congratulated us on the passage of H.Res.296 and conveyed her hope that the Senate would follow suit,” remarked ANCA-San Gabriel Valley representative Viken Pakradouni. “We also spoke with Assemblymember Garcia about ongoing efforts towards divestment from Turkey, the importance of including the Armenian experience in the state ethnic studies curriculum, and our partnership with the Census Bureau to ensure a complete count of Armenian Americans in 2020.”
During the meeting with Assemblymember Garcia, the ANCA-WR conveyed the importance of divestment from Turkish bonds as a means of ensuring public funds are no longer used to fund genocide denial. The ANCA-WR thanked Garcia for her support on AB1320 prohibiting the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments issued or owned by the government of Turkey, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in October.
The ANCA-WR also informed Assemblymember Garcia on the ANCA-WR’s ongoing efforts to ensure the representation of the Armenian community in the ethnic studies curriculum, acknowledging the significant contributions Armenians have made to the State of California.
The ANCA Western Region Board of Directors, as well as the ANCA-WR Education Committee, have sent letters to the Instructional Quality Commission as well as the California Department of Education with a specific request to ensure that the Armenian experience is included in the final version of the ethnic studies model curriculum. Copies of the letter have also been shared with the Governor, the Lt. Governor, State Superintendent as well as members of the State Legislature.
Ahead of the 2020 census and elections, the ANCA-WR also spoke to Assemblymember Garcia about the importance of maximizing the collective voice of Armenian Americans.
The ANCA-WR recently became an official Census 2020 partner organization and will be undertaking a number of activities to raise awareness to ensure a complete count of Armenian Americans by writing in “Armenian” on the questionnaire. The data collected by the census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives – a process called apportionment – and is also used to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local communities.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan 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 in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.