Artin Melkomian, Levon Kazarian, Ani Kocharyan and Manuel Sardaryan – UC Irvine ASA; ANCA-OC chair Violet Bulujian; Charlie and Annie Vas – Daughters of Vartan; Nishan Dulgarian – Knights of Vartan; AYF OC “Ashod Yergat” Chapter member Karine Codilian; Ani Sarkissian and Sogher Wartan, Ari Guiragos Armenian School students.
IRVINE, Calif. – Members of the Armenian American community of Orange County met with Mayor Farrah Khan and the City Manager on May 9th following a widely circulated video of Mayor Khan with well-known genocide deniers. In response, many constituents sent letters and emails, called the City of Irvine and attended a City Council meeting on April 12th.
Mayor Khan confirmed that all genocide deniers, including both Ergun Kirlikovali and Erkan Demiragci, have been removed from her advisory committee, and none are on any city council commission or committee. She also said that she no longer associates with genocide deniers.
Following much discussion about the genocide education program, Mayor Khan stated that she will reach out to Cyril Yu, trustee of the Irvine Unified School Board, to lead the effort to coordinate and support the training of Irvine Unified School District educators by The Genocide Education Project.
Mayor Khan affirmed that a permanent Armenian Genocide Memorial can be erected in the city of Irvine and agreed to work with the community to achieve this. During its April 12th City Council meeting, the city of Irvine proclaimed April 24 of every year to be a day of remembrance for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Armenian National Committee of America-Orange County (ANCA-OC) welcomed the mayor’s eagerness and intent to work with the Armenian community and plans to follow up on her promises. In addition, ANCA-OC intends to make sure that the city of Irvine writes to President Biden in support of humanitarian aid to Armenians of Artsakh along with enforcing section 907 to stop military aid to Azerbaijan. Advocates also want a second letter be sent to the Azeri Consul General demanding the release of the Armenian POWs still being held following the 44-day war of 2020.