“We are grateful for Senator Padilla’s longstanding friendship and enduring commitment to the Armenian-American community, and are proud to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” remarked ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “Senator Padilla has been a thoughtful and dedicated leader with a proven track record of empowering Armenian-Americans, along with the many diverse communities that enrich the State of California. We look forward to continuing our work with him to advance the plight for justice for the Armenian Genocide, and to hold accountable those who threaten the Armenian people today,” Hovsepian concluded.
In 2020, Senator Padilla was appointed to replace Vice President Kamala Harris in the United States Senate. Prior to his appointment, Padilla demonstrated a consistently strong track record on Armenian issues and has been a devoted advocate for the rights of the Armenian community.
Senator Padilla first entered public office in 1999 when he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council. He later became the youngest person and first Latino American to be elected as President of the Council in 2001. During his time on Council, Padilla demonstrated a strong understanding of and commitment to the needs of the city’s Armenian-American residents.
Following seven years of service on the City Council, Padilla was elected to the California State Senate in 2006 representing Senate District 20 – encompassing parts of the Inland Empire. As a State Senator, Padilla demonstrated his consistent support for issues of importance to the Armenian-American community, including the remembrance and memorialization of the Armenian Genocide.
In 2014, the ANCA-WR endorsed Padilla’s candidacy for the office of Secretary of State. In his role, Padilla was a powerful advocate for civic engagement amongst first-generation immigrant communities and always made himself and the resources of his offices accessible to California’s Armenian-American constituency. During his tenure, Senator Padilla also participated in the ANCA-WR Grassroots Conference speaking on a panel discussing civic engagement and community activism.
Since his appointment to the U.S. Senate, Padilla has continued to build on his track record of advocating for the rights of the Armenian community. In addition to joining dozens of legislators last year in calling on President Biden to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Senator Padilla introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calling for a joint State Department and Defense Department report into war crimes perpetrated by Azerbaijan during the invasion of Artsakh in 2020 – including an assessment of the use of U.S. technology during attacks; the use of white phosrphorous, cluster bombs, and other prohibited munitions; and the deployment of Turkey-backed foreign mercenaries.
“I am honored to count on the endorsement of the American National Committee of America-Western Region for my 2022 Senate run. I remain committed to strong U.S. – Armenian ties and leading the call on the global community to recognize the Armenian Genocide so we can prevent future atrocities. I look forward to continue working with ANCA-WR to champion the needs of Armenian-Americans in Congress,” remarked Senator Padilla.
California is home to the largest Armenian diaspora community globally, with up to half a million residents of Armenian ancestry across the county. The Armenian-American community of California has made an indelible impact on the social, cultural, political, and economic fabric of the state.
With primary elections approaching on June 7th, Armenian-Americans have an important opportunity to ensure our community’s collective voice is heard, and are poised to play a significant role in shaping the country’s future.
The ANCA-WR will continue to announce its endorsements as it works tirelessly to ensure issues of significance to the Armenian-American community are addressed by candidates ahead of the upcoming elections.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan 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 in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.