Sacramento, CA – On Monday April 9, 2007 the California State Assembly and Senate passed Assembly Joint Resolution 15 (AJR 15), which declares April 24, 2007 an “Official Day of Remembrance” in California.
During the assembly session, the coauthors of AJR 15, Assemblymembers Paul Krekorian and Greg Aghazarian, presented the legislation to the State Assembly. They emphasized that, while resolutions have been adopted in the past to designate April 24th as a Day of Remembrance, this resolution goes further by expressing that the Congress and President should appropriately recognize the Genocide, demanding that the Republic of Turkey acknowledge the Genocide and condemning the Turkish government for its current abuses of human rights. Specific reference was made to the assassination of Hrant Dink.
After being put to a vote, the resolution was accepted on the Assembly floor. The resolution was principally coauthored by Senators Jack Scott and Joe Simitian, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and Assemblymembers Charles Calderon, Kevin De Leon, Mark Leno, Fiona Ma, and Anthony Portantino. Before the closing of the session Assemblymember Krekorian thanked those in attendance from the Armenian American community, especially noting ANC 2000 Man of the Year J. Michael Hagopian, a distinguished film maker and genocide survivor who received a standing applause from the members.
Following the vote, a special commemoration ceremony was held in the Assembly chamber. At the conclusion of the session a reception was held, which was hosted by the Armenian Caucus of the State Legislature. Many members of the delegation, as well as members from the Armenian American community, were able to meet with legislators and legislative staff.
Additionally, on the same day a commemoration ceremony was held on the California Senate floor. Both AJR 15 coauthors, Senators Jack Scott and Joe Simitian, addressed the Senate on the occasion of commemorating April 24 and the Armenian Genocide. The opening prayer was given by the designated representative of Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Father Vahan Gosdanian of the Holy Trinity Church of Fresno. After the remarks of both Senator Simitian and Senator Scott, Senator Simitian introduced The Consul General of the Republic of Armenia to Los Angeles, Armen Liloyan. Liloyan extended gratitude and appreciation to both Houses of California’s legislature and applauded the reaffirmation of California’s firm stance against injustice.
“The California legislature today demonstrated its commitment to the protection of human rights everywhere,” stated ANCA-WR Board Member Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian. She added, “We are happy to see California’s commemorative ceremonies calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide – and with 38 states that have issued similar declarations and resolutions – the time is ripe for the United States Congress to do the same.”
The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo caption: (left to right) Artur Artenyan, ANC of San Francisco Bay Area District Director Matt Senekerimian, ANCA-WR Board Member Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian, Genocide Survivor J. Michael Hagopian, Consul General Armen Liloyan, Assemblymember Paul Krekorian, ANCA-WR Board Member Hovannes Boghosian, ANCA-WR Board Member Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian, Assemblymember Greg Aghazarian, Daniel Adenian, Rev. Vahan Gosdanian, ANC of San Francisco Bay Area Activist and former ANCA-WR Executive Director Armen Carapetian, and ANCA-WR Board Member Leonard Manoukian.
Photo caption #2: (center) California State Senator Jack Scott, (left to right) ANC of San Francisco Bay Area Activist and former ANCA-WR Executive Director Armen Carapetian, ANC of San Francisco Bay Area District Director Matt Senekerimian, ANCA-WR Board Member Leonard Manoukian, ANCA-WR Board Member Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian, Foundation for Economic Development, Inc. Director Johnny Nalbandian, and ANCA-WR Board Member Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian.