October 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA—The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR) will be honoring California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Jerry Brown) with one of its highest honors, the prestigious ANC-WR “Freedom Award”. Attorney General Brown will receive the award at the annual banquet to take place on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

For many generations, Jerry Brown has been a good friend of the Armenian American community in the State of California. Just recently, Brown submitted an Amicus Curaie brief, also known as a “friend of the court” brief” of behalf of the people of California against the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recent ruling.

California State Attorney General Edmund G BrownOn August 20, heirs claiming life insurance entitlements from Armenian Genocide era policies were denied the right to sue insurance carriers for their long withheld benefits. A three-judge panel of the Appellate Courts struck down the underlying statute which allows for redress through the California Country, on Federal Preemption grounds. The majority reasoned that the mere use of the phrase “Armenian Genocide” conflicts with United Stated foreign policy objectives.

“We are proud to honor Jerry Brown for his decades of service to the Armenian American community of California,” said Vicken Sonentz Papazian, ANC-WR Board of Directors Chairman. “Armenian Americans greatly value the strong bond that has developed with Attorney General Brown over the course of almost 40 years and look forward to saluting him for his many contributions to the continued prosperity and growth of our community.”

“Our grassroots movement is not only being challenged in the halls of Capital Hill in Washington D.C., but also within our very own backyards in the State of California and within the courtroom,” said Raffi Kassabian, ANC-WR Legal Research Team Chair and member of the ANC-WR Banquet Committee. “We are proud of Jerry Brown’s efforts to ensure that genocide victims’ heirs have a form of legal recourse in California Courts. Jerry Brown’s filing of an Amicus Curaie brief sends a strong message that the State of California will not allow insurance companies to profit from genocidal wrongs.”

The ANC-WR Banquet is an annual event drawing nearly 1000 Armenian Americans as well as public and community leaders from throughout California as well as the western United States. Following tradition, the event will feature a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by the dinner and program. Those interested learning more about this year’s event honoring Attorney General Jerry Brown and California Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian may contact the ANC-WR office at (818) 500-1918 for more information.

The Armenian National Committee-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.


PHOTO CAPTION: California Attorney General Jerry Brown

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian
Email / Tel: (818) 500-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont Street, Suite #200