Assemblymember Portantino Discusses Turkey’s Genocide Denial With Ar

23.07.2008 11:30

In a meeting with Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, members of the
Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR)
discussed several issues of importance to Armenian Americans. The
Assemblymember reiterated that it is unacceptable for Turkey
to continue its international campaign of genocide denial. Also
discussed was the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) position on the
Armenian Genocide and the recent expose by the Southern Poverty Law
Center highlighting the Turkish government’s interference in Armenian
domestic academia and politics.

"It’s always a pleasure to meet with the leadership and grassroots
activists of the ANC," stated Portantino. "The opportunity to discuss
issues important to the Armenian community in my district is incredibly
valuable and deeply appreciated," he added.

Among those in attendance were Amy Kaladzhyan and Shant Karnikian,
two of the seven ANC-WR Internship Externship Program (ANC-WR IEP)
interns. They explained that since meeting with the Assemblymember
in Sacramento for the State Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
in April 2008, they had been very active in human rights activities
in Santa Barbara.

"Today’s meeting was a great opportunity for us to realize that our
Assemblymembers care about issues pertaining to human rights and
take the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us on these
matters," said Kaladzhyan. "We definitely appreciate the positive
and encouraging feedback we received from Asm. Portantino," she added.

Asm. Portantino expressed that he is looking forward to the visit of
Armenia’s Minister of Education Spartak Seiranyan. The Assemblymember
currently serves as the Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Higher
Education and will play a pivotal role in engaging California
institutions of higher education, laboratories and industry giants.

ANC of Crescenta Valley activist Arick Gevorkian thanked Portantino
for his support and close relationship with the Crescenta Valley
community. "It was very pleasing to see what the ANC has achieved as
far as building relationships with legislators, Assemblymembers and
Congressman," stated Gevorkian. "Asm. Portantino has always welcomed us
and this is a result of years of relationships building. His sincerity
and commitment to the Armenian American community is truly admirable
and he a strong voice for our community," he added.

Assemblymember Anthony Portantino was elected to serve the 44th
Assembly District in November, 2006. The district encompasses Altadena,
Duarte, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Temple
City. Portantino has been a long time friend and supporter of the
Armenian National Committee and the Armenian American Community
in large.