SAN FRANCISCO, CA–The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Friday adopted by unanimous vote a resolution calling upon the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-08), to continue to support and immediately schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 106).
"It is time for our government to speak with moral clarity on the historical record of the Armenian Genocide rather than be bullied by Turkey’s brazen threats," said Haig Baghdassarian, a representative of the Bay Area Armenian National Committee who attended the Board of Supervisors meeting. "The Board of Supervisors vote demonstrates the support for the Armenian Genocide Resolution by the people of San Francisco."
Over the past few weeks, the Armenian Genocide has captured the attention of U.S. leaders and policymakers in an unprecedented fashion. The attention was triggered as a result of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ passage of a resolution re-affirming the U.S. historical record on the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenia’s were massacred by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin introduced the resolution in support of H.Res.106 on October 23rd, which was immediately co-sponsored by nine fellow supervisors.
H. Res. 106 "call[s] upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide." The resolution is necessary now because the Turkish government has been carrying out an increasingly aggressive campaign of genocide denial, including deman’s that the U.S. government join Turkey in denying the Armenian Genocide.
San Francisco residents and elected officials, who have frequently been at the forefront of human rights issues, have consistently supported efforts for just policies regarding the Armenian Genocide. In 1997, the voters of San Francisco approved the sale of Mount Davidson Cross to Armenian-American organizations, which maintain the property for public use and as a memorial for the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The civic leadership in San Francisco supported these efforts and fought attempts by genocide deniers to prevent the sale of the cross to Armenian-Americans, who also conducted a lengthy, unsuccessful, legal battle to remove the memorial plaque. In September, the plaque was stolen, and has not yet been replaced.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has consistently communicated his support for H.Res.106 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Council President Peskin introduced the San Francisco measure to support San Francisco’s Congressional members in their effort to promote a just U.S. policy regarding the Armenian Genocide. Calling upon the Speaker to schedule a full vote on the bill, the San Francisco resolution states "the proper recognition of the crime of genocide and other crimes against humanity should never be sacrificed for perceived political benefits."
The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.