Friends of ANCA-WR Rally to Support Senator Anthony Portantino’s Congressional Campaign

January 22, 2024

(Pasadena, CA) – On Sunday, January 21, 2024, Friends of ANCA Western Region held a fundraiser reception in support of Senator Anthony Portantino’s bid to continue his journey of public service at the US Congress. The event was hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Levon and Silva Kirakosian and attended by friends of ANCA-WR, ANCA-WR board members, and representatives of the Armenian American community in California. 

In February of 2023, ANCA-WR announced its endorsement of Senator Portantino’s campaign to succeed Rep. Adam Schiff of the 30th Congressional District of California, which is home to the largest Armenian-American population in the United States.

“The ANCA Western Region enthusiastically supports Senator Anthony Portantino’s campaign for Congress. We have full confidence that Senator Portantino will maintain and enhance his impressive record of supporting Armenia, Artsakh, and our broader community when he steps into his role in Washington DC,” said Nora Hovsepian Esq., Chair of the ANCA Western Region.

Senator Portantino has been a formidable force in championing the causes of the Armenian community, demonstrating an unwavering commitment that resonates deeply with his constituents. During his visit to Artsakh as the first elected official from the United States since the end of the 44-day war, Senator Portantino observed the impact of Azerbaijan’s acts of aggression and also engaged with local leaders and heroes, solidifying his resolve to advocate for the recognition of Artsakh and to support the rights and dignity of its people.

Building on Senator Portantino’s record of achievements and recognition– Senator Portantino has been honored twice with the “Legislator of the Year” award by the ANCA-WR at its Annual Awards Gala Banquets. The first recognition came in 2011, during his tenure as a State Assemblymember for California’s 44th Assembly District, and the second in 2017, a year after he was elected to his current role as State Senator for California’s 25th Senatorial District. In 2018, Senator Portantino and other state and local leaders visited Armenia as part of an ANCA-WR-led delegation focused on deepening economic ties between California and Armenia. In his still-standing tenure as the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Portantino secured a $10 million allocation for the Armenian-American Museum in Governor Newsom’s budget, and during his time as Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education (2018-2019), he successfully earmarked $500,000 for Armenian Genocide education in California’s State Budget. In 2021, he led the charge with Senate Bill 457, co-introduced with Senator Scott Wilk, to halt California’s funding to the Turkish Government, a move aimed at protesting Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. This legislation led to California’s largest state-employee pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, ceasing investments in Turkish government-backed securities. Furthermore, in April of 2023, Senator Portantino co-authored Senate Resolution 28, which seeks to annually reaffirm California’s recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. More recently, Senator Portantino and 21 other California legislators penned a letter to President Biden, addressing and condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, and following Azerbaijan’s full-scale assault and ethnic cleansing of Artsakh in September of 2023, the Senator called upon the United States to “hold Azerbaijan accountable and immediately cut military aid.”

“On behalf of the friends of the ANCA Western Region, we were delighted to host this fundraiser for Senator Portantino’s Congressional campaign. Having worked closely with the Senator for numerous years, we are certain that he will continue to champion the Armenian cause and advocate for the interests of the Armenian American community once his bid for congress is successful,” said Levon Kirakosian, Esq., who hosted the fundraiser at his home in California. 

Senator Portantino’s leadership has also been instrumental in his founding of the Senate Select Committee on California, Armenia, and Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art, and Cultural Exchange. This committee, the first of its kind, aims to enhance business opportunities, cultural awareness, and education between California, Armenia, and Artsakh, promising a brighter future for mutual economic and cultural prosperity.

“We are in the home stretch of the campaign and I was very grateful to Silva and Levon Kirakosian for hosting my campaign along with friends of the ANCA WR. Winning campaigns are about collaboration and grassroots support. The ANCA is the largest Armenian American grassroots organization in the US and I’m honored to be the preferred candidate of ANCA Western Region. Ballots will shortly be available and we are charging toward a positive outcome.  I appreciate Western Regions’ strong, early and continued support,” said Senator Anthony Portantino at the fundraiser hosted at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Levon and Silva Kirakosian.  

About ANCA Western Region

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, ANCA WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Sonia Meroian
Email / Tel: (818) 745-4555
Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
104 N. Belmont St. Suite 200, Glendale CA 91206 | | @anca_wr