GLENDALE, CA—The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region announced that California State Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon (CA-AD-58-D) will receive the organization’s Legislator of the Year Award during the 2010 Annual Banquet. The honor is being granted to Majority Leader Calderon for his longstanding record of support for Armenian American issues and most recently, for championing ACR 148 – the Assembly Concurrent Resolution which calls on the California Department of Transportation to erect signs on State Highway 60 directing motorists to the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello.
“Our community is excited to honor Majority Leader Charles Calderon,” remarked ANCA San Gabriel Valley Chapter activist and ANCA-WR Banquet Committee member Jack Hadjinian. “Since his early days as a Montebello School Board Member and now in his leadership role in the California Assembly, Majority Leader Calderon has always supported issues of concern to Armenian Americans. We would like to express our gratitude and continue our close friendship with him.” Hadjinian added.
A Strong Advocate for Armenian American Issues in California Since his election to public office, Majority Leader Calderon has been a close friend of the San Gabriel Valley Armenian American community and a champion of issues of concern to the Armenian American community. In the 1980’s, he enacted legislation requiring that the Armenian Genocide be included as part of the history curriculum in California public schools so that future generations of Californians would know about the atrocities committed against the Armenian people. Majority Leader Calderon continues to be a strong advocate of Armenian American issues in the California Legislature until today.
This year, the California State Legislature passed ACR 148, a resolution authored by Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, which highlights the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument on State Highway 60. ACR 148 calls on the California Department of Transportation to erect signs on State Highway 60 directing motorists to the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument at Bicknell Park in Montebello. The signs will be erected on the westbound and eastbound portions of State Highway Route 60 leading to the Garfield Avenue exit. ACR 148 does not have a fiscal impact on the State California, as non state sources are being used to cover the costs of signs.
The Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument, a piece of California history since its construction in 1965 and a symbol of the 1.5 million Armenians who were systematically annihilated at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government, is an imposing 50 plus foot structure that rests on a hill in Bicknell Park in the City of Montebello. It serves as a reminder of the American humanitarian effort made to honor the survivors of this crime against humanity and their undying will to survive and prevail. ACR 148 recognizes the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument as a beacon of awareness for all crimes against humanity. Majority Leader Calderon’s effort to advance this legislation not only resonates throughout the Armenian American community in this region, but throughout the State of California.
History of Public Service
Majority Leader Calderon enjoys a remarkable list of achievements over his twenty years in public service. At the age of 29, he was elected to the Montebello School Board by the greatest number of votes in district history. During his tenure on the School Board, he was responsible for placing libraries in every elementary school, bringing computers to the schools and placing a full time college counselor at every high school campus.
In 1982, Majority Leader Calderon was first elected to the California State Assembly, where he served as the first Latino lawyer to the State Assembly. In 1990, he was elected to the State Senate where he became the first Latino Senate Majority Leader. His years in the legislature are characterized by a commitment to community and the betterment of public schools.
In November of 2006, Majority Leader Calderon was reelected to serve in the California State Assembly to represent the 58th Assembly District. In 2010, Calderon was appointed Assembly Majority Leader by Speaker John Perez, making him the first legislator to serve as Majority Leader of both the Assembly and Senate. He currently serves on the Revenue & Taxation, Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media, Appropriations and Insurance Committees.
Majority Leader Calderon has authored landmark legislation that reflects a deep commitment to his community and improving the quality of life for all Californians. He has been a leader on the issues of crime, education, the environment, health care and disaster relief.
Majority Leader Calderon received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from California State Los Angeles and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Davis. He is married and has three children.
The 2010 Annual Banquet – which is set to be a sold out event – will be held on October 24th at the Universal Sheraton in Los Angeles. The Banquet represents the single largest annual gathering of Armenian American leaders and public officials in California. The Banquet is attended by more than a thousand benefactors, supporters and community allies. Individuals interested in attending the ANCA-Western Region banquet are encouraged to call (818) 500-1918.
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.