LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles City Councilmembers on Wednesday introduced a measure urging President Obama to recognize the Armenian Genocide and voicing LA’s support for H-Res 154, the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice resolution introduced in Congress last week.
City Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Council President Herb Wesson, were joined by councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz co-presented the resolution.
The City Council Resolution calls on President Obama to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and urge the government of Turkey to acknowledge the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide.
“Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Armenian populations in the world, including a tremendous number of Genocide survivors and their descendants,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the first Armenian-American elected to city office in Los Angeles.
“It is important for our city, the second biggest in the country, to go on record supporting House Resolution 154. I am confident that the actions we are taking here will be heard and considered by our elected leaders in Washington, and bring us one step closer to justice and recognition,” added Krekorian.
The item will now go to the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Once the Committee hears the item, it will be sent to the full Council for a vote, and will be placed in the City’s 2015-2016 Federal Legislative Program.
Below is the text of the proposed resolution.
WHEREAS, any official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, rules, regulations or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state, or federal governmental body or agency must have first been adopted in the form of a Resolution by the City Council with the concurrence of the Mayor; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide began on April 24, 1915, with the arrest by Ottoman Turkish officials of key Armenian intellectual, political and religious leaders, followed by the murder and deportation of men, women and children —- a pattern that has been repeated over and over again in the Holocaust, in Cambodia, in Rwanda, in southern Sudan and in all other genocides since the Armenian Genocide; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, and 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, effectively destroying the 3,000 year presence of Armenians in much of their historic homeland; and
WHEREAS, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the horrific series of events that left millions of Armenians dead and displaced; and WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide is widely recognized by historians and genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th Century, and as the harbinger of all genocides that would follow; and
WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide is clearly documented with overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Turkey the United States, the Vatican and many other countries, and this vast body of evidence attests to the same facts, the same events, and the same consequences; and
WHEREAS, Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Armenian communities in the world, and one of the largest populations of Genocide survivors and their descendants; and WHEREAS, it is vital that the Government of the United States properly recognize the Armenian Genocide, not just because of the moral implications, but because it can help to prevent future atrocities from occurring; and
WHEREAS, the Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res.154), introduced and spearheaded in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA), Robert J. Dold (R-IL), David Valadao (R-CA), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), offers a new approach to U.S. efforts to foster Armenian-Turkish relations which are equitable, constructive, stable, and durable; and
WHEREAS, the Resolution calls on President Barack Obama to stand by the statement, which he made before entering office, that “the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence”; and
WHEREAS, the Resolution calls on the Obama Administration to press Turkey for full acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Arri1enian Genocide;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2015-2016 Federal Legislative Program support for the Truth and Justice Resolution (H.Res.154).
PAUL KREKORIAN, 2nd District
HERB WSSON, 10th District
MITCH O’FARRELL 13th District
PAUL KORETZ, 5th District