(Sacramento, California) — The ANCA Western Region met with California Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento on Monday April 24, 2023: the108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Governor Newsom has been a long-time supporter of Armenian-American issues since his time on the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, as Mayor of San Francisco, Lieutenant Governor and finally Governor of California, where Newsom represents the voices of California’s large Armenian community. Governor Newsom has issued annual proclamations declaring April 24th as a “Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide” in solemn remembrance of the 1.5 million innocent victims of this unpunished crime against humanity.
In 2019, Newsom signed AB1320, the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act into law, to divest public funds from Turkish government-owned investments and securities in response to Ankara’s enduring denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Newsom also allocated $8 million for the Armenian American Museum in the California budget, allowing for Armenian cultural preservation in California.
“The ANCA Western Region has endorsed Governor Newsom for each of his elections and is grateful for the dedication he has consistently shown to the Armenian-American community. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration and further cultivating our friendship with him as we work to advance all aspects of the Armenian Cause,” stated ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. who was joined in the meeting by ANCA-WR Board Members Lina Davidian, Esq. and Hermineh Pakhanians and ANCA-WR Government Affairs Director Ruben Karapetian.
Various issues were discussed in the meeting ranging from the current crisis in Artsakh and Armenia, the lack of accountability which has allowed Azerbaijan and Turkey to continue with their genocidal plans against the Armenian People, the escalation of anti-Armenian hate crimes in California, the importance of properly counting Armenian-Americans in the U.S. Census, the importance of Armenian Genocide education especially through the Governor’s Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education, and a host of other issues facing the Armenian community.
Preceding the meeting, ANCA Western Region representatives participated in the Senate and Assembly sessions where resolutions introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino and Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who reaffirmed the State’s recognition and remembrance of the Armenian Genocide and highlighted the fact that the current crisis in Artsakh with Azerbaijan’s inhumane blockade of the Lachin Corridor is a continuation of the same genocidal intent which has existed for over a century.
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, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.