SACRAMENTO, CA – A delegation from the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) met with California State Assembly Speaker John Perez and Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon in the State Capitol in Sacramento to discuss a variety of issues concerning the Armenian American community.
In the meeting, ANCA-WR Chairwoman Aida Dimejian highlighted California’s legislative history supporting issues of concern to the Armenian American community and the importance of continuing California’s longstanding record of advocating on human rights issues. Speaker Perez also expressed his support for legislation commemorating and advocating for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, in addition to supporting other issues such as matters affecting the Armenian Genocide curriculum in schools.
“The ANCA-WR is committed to further developing this vital relationship and working with Speaker Perez and the leadership on host of issues facing the State of California,” stated Aida Dimejian, Chairwoman of the ANCA-WR. “California is home to the largest Armenian American community in the nation and it’s important that our community is a party to the dialogue in Sacramento and that our voices are heard at the highest levels of leadership.”
Speaker Perez pledged to work closely with the ANCA-WR in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with the Armenian American community. He stressed the importance of engaging Armenian Americans in public service.
“California’s Armenian American community has a strong presence in a large number of Assembly districts throughout the state,” stated ANCA-WR advisor Zanku Armenian. “The leadership acknowledged in our meeting the important role the community can play in shaping policy in the state. This is especially apparent in the 43rd Assembly District where Armenian American voters will determine the outcome of the special election,” stated Armenian.
Speaker John Pérez was elected in 2008 to represent the 46th Assembly District in the Los Angeles area, comprising the cities of Maywood, Vernon, Huntington Park as well as the communities of Boyle Heights, Downtown Los Angeles, unincorporated East Los Angeles and parts of South Los Angeles. In January 2010, he was elected Speaker of the California State Assembly and was sworn in as the 68th Speaker on March 1, 2010.
Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Speaker Perez served as political director for the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 324, and previously served in a similar position for the California Labor Federation.
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.
Photo caption 1: ANCA-WR Chairwoman Aida Dimejian, ANCA-WR Government Relations Director Lerna Shirinian, ANCA-WR Board Member Stepan Boyajian, ANCA-WR Advisor Zanku Armenian with Speaker John Perez and Majority Leader Charles Calderon.