“Kevin de León has been a true friend of the Armenian community throughout his career as both an Assemblymember and Senator in the California State Legislature, from his work to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide every year to his crucial support for legislation that recognized the independence and right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh,” remarked Chair of the ANCA-WR Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “Mr. De León will bring over a decade of friendship, legislative experience on Armenian issues, and a commitment to empowering local communities to council that we wholeheartedly welcome and we look forward to working with,” Hovsepian continued.
Kevin De León previously served as an Assemblymember in the California State Legislature representing the 45th District from 2006 to 2010 covering Hollywood and, specifically, Little Armenia – home to St. Garabed Armenian Church, Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, and the headquarters of Asbarez Daily Newspaper and Horizon Armenian Television. From 2010 to 2018, De León served as a member of the California State Senate representing the 22nd and later the 24th Senate District, covering the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles, respectively.
De León has represented a diverse cross-section of the Armenian-American community of Los Angeles throughout his time in office, and is well acquainted with the Armenian-American community’s priorities and interests. De León was honored with the ANCA-WR’s ‘Legislator of the Year’ Award at its 2014 Gala Banquet for his long-standing commitment to representing the Armenian-American community, and has remained steadfast in his support since, playing a significant role in securing $3 million for the construction of the Armenian American Museum, and the allocation of $10 million for programs related to incorporating Armenian Genocide education into the public school curriculum.
In 2014, De León was chosen to become the California Senate President Pro-Tempore, leading the upper house of the California State Legislature and becoming the first Latino elected to the office in more than 130 years. His commitment to diversity and community empowerment has extended to his constituents, including facilitating assistance to the Armenian Relief Society’s Hollywood Social Service Center, working to secure international renowned French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and endorsing and empowering Armenian candidates.
Currently, De León is a professor, senior analyst, and distinguished policymaker-in-residence at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs, as well as a Distinguished Fellow for Climate, Environmental Justice, and Health with the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute.
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.