SACRAMENTO, CA – Friends, activists, and leaders from the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) traveled to Sacramento to take part in the California State Legislature’s swearing-in ceremony for new and returning legislators. The December 4th inauguration of the newly elected and re-elected Assembly Members and State Senators took place at noon in the State Capitol Building.
“The State of California is home to the largest Armenian American community in the nation,” remarked ANCA-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian. “For this reason, our regional board members and local ANC chapters were pleased to welcome many new and returning legislators in Sacramento. After all, it is these officials, people like Assembly Member Paul Krekorian, who will carry the hopes and dreams of our community with them in Sacramento over the next several years. The ANC is pleased to have strong relationships with a vast majority of California’s state legislators,” Hovsepian added.
The ANC delegation proudly attended a celebratory dinner for Paul Krekorian on Sunday evening just prior to his swearing-in ceremony the next day. At the dinner, ANC officials were joined by a broad array of Krekorian supporters, celebrating the new Assembly Member’s success in the 2006 election cycle. Krekorian soundly won his race for the 43rd State Assembly District, which includes Burbank, Glendale as well as parts of North Hollywood and Silver Lake.
“Paul Krekorian and his wife Tamar have been two of the most active members of the Burbank ANC for the past several years,” noted Arbi Ohanian, Chairman of the Burbank ANC. In recounting Krekorian’s contribution to the local community, Ohanian emphasized, “I can confidently say that the Burbank City Council’s Genocide recognition observances and the effort to collect hundreds of donated Armenian books for the Burbank Library system would not have been as successful if not for Paul and Tamar.”
One of the offices visited by the ANC delegation was that of newly elected California State Senator, Dr. Leland Yee. Prior to his election to the State Senate, Yee served as a State Assembly Member in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Having collaborated with Senator Yee since the early years of his political career, we feel very proud to have been able to see him rise to a new level of responsibility and public service as a Senate Senator,” remarked Roxanne Makasdjian, Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area ANC. Representatives from the ANCA-WR and the Sacramento ANC were guests at Yee’s celebration dinner.
Following the swearing in ceremony for new legislators, several members of the ANC delegation met with other elected officials including Anthony Portantino, newly elected Assembly Member from the 44th Assembly District, which includes Pasadena and La Canada. They also visited the offices of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and spoke with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was in the State Capitol for the occasion.
“Traveling to Sacramento to welcome new state legislators is a great experience for ANC leaders, friends and activists,” remarked the ANCA-WR’s Hovsepian. “As our network of grassroots supporters grows, the ANC grows with them by providing new and more effective ways to build relationships and educate local, state and federal officials. Truly, our trip to Sacramento was democracy in action,” he added.
The ANCA 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.