ANCA-WR Joins California State Legislature For Armenian Genocide Com

24.04.2008 12:04

A resolution commemorating the 93rd anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide (SJR 24) was unanimously adopted by both the California
State Senate and Assembly on Monday, April 21, 2008. Led by the
Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR),
representatives from local ANC’s throughout the Greater Los Angeles
Area, Santa Barbara, California’s Central Valley and Northern
California attended the legislature’s commemoration ceremonies and
spent the day visiting with several State Senators and Assembly

"As a former congressional staffer, I assure you that you cannot
underestimate the importance of these types of visits," stated ANCA-WR
Board Member Peter Musurlian. "If the ANCA-WR did not regularly
organize advocacy days, California legislators would be getting
watered down information from others or worse, no information at all,"
he added.

Following visits with Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill and Assembly
Member Greg Aghazarian, ANC activists were welcomed to the state
capital with a reception hosted by Assembly Member Anthony Portantino.

At noon, Assembly Member Paul Krekorian led several colleagues,
including Sam Blakeslee, Mike Feuer and Mike Villines, in urging
the legislature to remember the genocide and the consequences of
its denial. Subsequently, Assembly Majority leader and Speaker Elect
Karen Bass as well as Little Armenia representative Assembly Member
Kevin de Leon introduced a motion allowing Krekorian to bring SJR
24 to the assembly floor for consideration where it was passed with
unanimous support.

The Assembly commemoration ceremony was followed by one in the Senate
chambers during which Santa Clara "Ani" chapter Homenetmen Scouts led
the flag procession and pledge of allegiance. Senator Joe Simitian was
joined by his senate colleagues in solemnly remembering the genocide. A
joint closing reception was also hosted by Krekorian and Simitian.

"What we see today is really very much the result of the hard
grassroots work that the ANCA-WR has done year after year to try
to energize people, educate people, to engage public officials in
dialogue so that they understand why this issue matters to us but
also why it should matter to them," stated Krekorian.

Also attending the day’s ceremonies were Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian
of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
and Primate Hovnan Derderian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian
Church who delivered the opening prayers during the Assembly and Senate
commemorations respectively. Leading the advocacy day were ANCA-WR
Board Members Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian, Peter Musurlian, Pattyl
Aposhian-Kasparian and Aida Dimejian. They were joined by ANCA-WR
Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian and ANCA-WR Press Secretary
Ani Garabedian. Also in attendance was Father Vahan Gostanian.

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