BY ELEN ASATRYAN
On May 8, the California State Assembly passed AJR32 by a nearly unanimous vote of 72 to 1.
The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto of the 43rd District, expressed California’s solidarity with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in their quest for self-determination and independence.
After passing in the Assembly, AJR32 has now gone to the State Senate where it will first be voted upon in the Rules Committee and then on the full Senate floor.
Consideration of AJR32 comes at a time of leadership transition in the California Senate. Current Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is working closely with his incoming successor, Senate Pro Tem-elect Kevin De Leon, who represents a large Armenian-American constituency and who has been a vocal and unwavering advocate for issues of importance to our community.
Senate Pro Tem Steinberg also represents a sizable Armenian-American constituency consisting mostly of refugees from the pogroms of Baku and Sumgait in Azerbaijan.
With less than one week left during which the Senate can act on AJR32, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region placed an action alert out calling on CA Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to move the resolution forward and support Artsakh’s Right to self-determination. The action alert can be found at ancawr.org
With community-wide calls for passage, will Senator De Leon continue to be a hero in our community? Will Senator Steinberg heed the calls of his constituents who were direct victims of Azeri aggression? We certainly hope so as we urge both Senate leaders to immediately pass AJR32.