(Los Angeles, California)– On October 19, 2023, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) and its local chapters participated in a roundtable discussion with Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, who serves as Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus and is a distinguished member of the California Armenian Legislative Caucus. Assemblymember Gabriel represents District 46, which encompasses the vibrant West San Fernando Valley, including areas like Van Nuys, Encino, Tarzana, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, and Calabasas—a region home to a substantial Armenian-American population.
The roundtable discussion offered a platform to delve into pressing issues confronting the local Armenian-American community within District 46 and beyond, including the humanitarian crisis faced by Artsakh refugees in Armenia as a result of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of over 100,000 people in late September 2023, the propagation of Armenophobia and anti-Armenian misinformation campaigns in online spaces, and the pivotal strengthening of the partnership between Armenia (especially Syunik province) and California. Assemblymember Gabriel expressed his unwavering support and solidarity with the Armenian-American community and reaffirmed his commitment to champion their cause. On the local side, Asm. Gabriel also spoke with Armenian community representatives about pressing issues, including homelessness, the rise in property crimes, and public safety issues.
A staunch advocate for the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program, Assemblymember Gabriel’s efforts have provided Armenian-American institutions such as schools, churches, and community service organizations with crucial funding to bolster their security measures. In addition to this initiative, Asm. Gabriel addressed the concerning proliferation of hate and misinformation in online spaces, a challenge the Armenian community has grappled with since the onset of Azerbaijan’s illegal invasion of Artsakh in 2020. Addressing this concern, he authored AB 587, a pioneering bill that seeks to shield internet users from hate speech and misinformation by mandating social media platforms to publicly disclose their community guidelines and standards— a vital step toward creating safer online spaces.
The community led by ANCA WR local chapter leader Garo Kamarian expressed gratitude to Assemblymember Gabriel for his leadership on matters crucial to the Armenian-American community. The roundtable discussion concluded with an engaging Q&A session, during which Assemblymember Gabriel addressed a variety of questions from the audience.
Participating organizations included representatives from the ANCA-WR, ANCA – San Fernando Valley West, ANCA North Valley, ANCA Pasadena, Armenian Youth Federation Sardarabad, Homenetmen Massis Chapter, ARF Rosdom Gomideh, ARF Arshavir Shiragian Gomideh, Hamazkayin Cultural Association Barouyr Sevag, Holy Martyrs Armenian Church, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian School, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Relief Society Anahid Chapter, GALAS, Association of Istanbul Armenians, Armenian Missionary Association of America, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, AGBU Western Region, Armenian Assembly of America, and the Southern California Armenian Democrats.
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.