January 27, 2011

SACRAMENTO, CA—Assembly Joint Resolution 2, which commemorates the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the California State Legislature was introduced this week by Assembly Member Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena). The veteran lawmaker was joined by freshman Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) in authoring the bill.

The resolution recalls the efforts of US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to raise awareness of this crime against humanity while it was being perpetrated and outlines acknowledgments of similar affirmations by the United States to the present day. This includes the United States 1951 filing with the International Court of Justice pertaining to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide expressly noting that “outstanding examples on the crime of genocide” included the “Turkish massacres of Armenians.”

“The Armenian massacre was one of the greatest crimes in modern history and to ignore it is to condone it,” said Portantino. “I am honored to join my new colleague, Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian, in the introduction of this Resolution remembering the 1.5 million Armenians who were tragically killed in the first genocide of the 20th Century. We hope to properly commemorate this horrendous act and offer some peace and respect for the survivors and their family members who live in California.”

Achadjian highlighted the contemporary importance of the resolution.

“Despite its status as the first genocide in modern times, the Armenian Genocide does not receive the recognition it deserves,” said Achadjian. “Recognizing this tragic event, not only honors the victims and survivors, but also helps to ensure that future generations learn from past mistakes. I am proud to jointly author this resolution with my friend Assembly Member Portantino. I look forward to the day that the federal government follows suit and officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide.”

Joining Portantino and Achadjian in supporting this Resolution were California Senators Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), Tom Berryhill (R-Fresno), Carol Liu (D-Glendale), Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad), and Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) as well as Assembly Members Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) and Linda Halderman (R-Fresno).

“We thank Assembly Members Achadjian and Portantino for their leadership, along with the support of our other friends on this important piece of legislation which serves as a reminder of both the history as well as the current impact of this crime,” said Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Board Member Raffi L. Kassabian, Esq.

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.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Rostom Sarkissian
Email / Tel: (818) 500-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont, Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91206 * Tel. (818) 500-1918