ANCA Western Region Meet with Governor Newsom and CA State Legislators on Capitol Advocacy Day

April 26, 2024

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – On April 22, 2024, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA WR) board, staff, chapters, and advocates spearheaded Armenian-American advocacy efforts during the Capitol Advocacy Day, organized by the Armenian Legislative Caucus in Sacramento, in commemoration of the 109th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. ANCA Western Region was joined by the Armenian Assembly of America – Western Region and Southern California Armenian Democrats and their advocates.


ANCA-WR Board and Staff at the Rotunda of the California Capitol Building.


During the Capitol Advocacy Day, Assemblymember Laura Friedman and Senator Scott Wilk respectively introduced resolutions HR-82 and SR-83 in the California State Legislature reaffirming California’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 and calling upon the Federal Government to ensure accountability for Azerbaijan’s genocidal actions in Artsakh and sovereign Armenia. During the Assembly and Senate sessions, Assemblymembers Zbur, Ramos, Rivas, Alanis, Patterson, and Carrillo spoke in favor of HR-82, while Senators Durazo, Min, Archuleta, Portantino, and Senate President Pro Tempore McGuire spoke in support of SR-83 before both resolutions were unanimously passed. Local Homenetmen Lori Scouts administered the flag ceremony while prayers were offered by Armenian clergy.


California Assembly Session where the Armenian Genocide Resolution was unanimously passed


“This week’s advocacy efforts in Sacramento were paramount, as it was the first Armenian Advocacy Day held since Azerbaijan’s genocidal blockade, invasion and ethnic cleansing of Artsakh in late September 2023,” said Oshin Harootoonian, Chair of the ANCA Western Region Board of Directors. “With the continued threat of Azerbaijan and Turkey against the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia, ANCA Western Region will continue to mobilize its chapters and advocates to increase the pressure on local, state, and federal officials to hold Azerbaijan and Turkey accountable for all the crimes they have committed against the Armenian nation, especially since 2020.”


California Senate Session where the concurrent Armenian Genocide Resolution was unanimously passed


ANCA Western Region advocates highlighted four key active legislations during their meetings in Sacramento. The four CA legislations supported by ANCA WR are: SJR-11, introduced by Sen. Bob Archuleta, which calls upon the Federal Government to decisively act to secure the unconditional release and safe return of all Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and hostages illegally detained by Azerbaijan; SB-1277, introduced by Sen. Henry Stern, which seeks to enhance Genocide and Holocaust education within California’s educational system; SB-1041, introduced by Sen. Anthony Portantino, which seeks to facilitate the integration of Armenian-trained doctors into the California healthcare system, enhancing medical services and cultural competence; and AB 2763, introduced by Asm. Bill Essayli, which seeks to improve demographic reporting for Middle Eastern and North African communities and ensure more accurate and comprehensive data collection through the inclusion of an Armenian Checkbox on the CA Census Questionnaire.

ANCA Western Region met with California Governor Gavin Newsom to advocate in favor of all active California legislation of critical importance to the Armenian-American community, while also sounding the alarm on the continuation of attacks on Armenian community institutions such as schools, churches, and cemeteries across California, most recently in Fresno. ANCA Western Region requested tangible action to be taken by all levels of California law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the Armenian-American community.


ANCA-WR Board and Staff meeting with California Governor Gavin Newsom to discuss issues of importance to the Armenian-American communities of California.


ANCA-WR Board and Staff with California Governor Gavin Newsom.


During the Capitol Advocacy Day, ANCA Western Region advocates also held several policy meetings with California State legislators and their senior staff, including with the offices of State Senators Tom Umberg, Aisha Wahab, Josh Newman, and Anthony Portantino.

ANCA-WR Board, Staff, and Local Advocates meeting with California State Senator Aisha Wahab.


ANCA-WR and AAA WR staff and community youth advocates meeting with representatives of California State Senator Josh Newman.


ANCA Western Region advocates who participated in the Capitol Advocacy Day on April 22, 2024 included, Oshin Harootoonian, Lina Davidian, Aram Sarkissian, Ayk Dikijian, Lenna Hovanessian, Matt Senekeremian, Edward Barsoumian, Ruben Karapetian, Ani Yenikomshian, Haig Baghdassarian, Ara Makasdjian, Roxanne Makasdjian, Sophia Armen, and Suzie Abajian.

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy 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, ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Edward Barsoumian
Email / Tel: (818) 664-6968
Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
104 N. Belmont St. Suite 200, Glendale CA 91206 | | @anca_wr