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BURBANK, CA – On Tuesday evening, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) co-hosted a historic bipartisan Commissions Appointment Seminar with California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-63) at the Burbank Armenian Youth Center, concluding a series of workshops organized by his the Speaker’s office intended to educate citizens about state boards and commissions with the objective of making opportunities to serve more accessible to all Californians.
Speakers at the event included Speaker Rendon, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (R-35), Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-46), ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan, and representatives from the Southern California Armenian Democrats (SCAD), Burbank School Board Member Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Harry Leon, chairman of the National Organization of Republican Armenians (NORA), and current and former Armenian-American commissioners and state board members.
Asatryan welcomed the participants, who had filled the room to capacity, stating “We take pride in serving as the vital bridge between the Armenian-American community and their government representatives. Tonight’s event is just one example of how the ANCA, time after time, creates opportunities for our community members to become civically engaged.” She continued, “I am proud to note that as we gather in this room tonight, right now, at this moment, there are hundreds of volunteers of all ages knocking on doors, phone banking and helping get out the Armenian vote for the November 8 Elections – All of these programs go hand in hand in building a strong and vibrant community – There are over 150 commissions to serve on, and I encourage all of you to consider this as a part of your civic duty and service in this capacity for the state of California.”
Speaker Rendon, who had made a point to personally attend the culminating event of the series expressed his appreciation to the organizers and attendees, noting that “thanks to ANCA-WR and other leaders in the Armenian community, including Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Katcho Achadjian, our Speaker’s Appointments Workshop was a big success.” He continued, “I’m pleased there are so many members of the community who are interested in serving the State of California. Based on the participation at this workshop, I’m sure we’ll have a big pool of qualified candidates.”
Assemblymember Nazarian (D-46) introduced the speaker and thanked him for his leadership on ground-breaking legislation and his willingness to engage the Armenian-American community. He noted the importance of participating in state commissions as a means of assisting the state in monitoring its regulations, departments, and general projects. Nazarian went on to discuss the importance of having a diverse contingency of commissioners who are truly representative of the various communities and populations in California.
Assemblymember Achadjian (R-35) echoed Nazarian’s remarks and stressed the importance of taking one’s responsibilities on a commission seriously. He noted that he has had the honor of being appointed to commissions under Governor Schwarzenegger and two Democratic Assembly speakers, all of whom have trusted his judgement on commissions dealing with the business of the state.
Toward the end of the seminar, Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian, current California commissioner on Judicial Performance, Maria Mehranian, commissioner on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and Levon Kirakosian, former member of the California Commission on Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights spoke of their responsibilities, experiences and recommendations for future applicants. The panelists offered suggestions on the application process and discussed the time commitments for commissioners.
The seminar was closed by Nikki Johnson, Sr. Advisor to the Speaker on Appointment, who went into detail on the application process, deadlines, and other logistical information. To learn more about CA commissions, please visit http://asmdc.org/speaker/attachments/Boards_and_Commissions_List.pdf