Los Angeles, California – The ANCA-WR is proud to announce that California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law AB 1801, introduced by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and overwhelmingly passed in both houses of the State Legislature, permanently designating April 24 each year as a State holiday in observance of Genocide Remembrance.
The passage of AB 1801 was hard-fought, with significant effort by the ANCA-WR to address amendments which tethered its enforcement with the passage of two other holiday bills, AB 1655, Juneteenth (Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer) and AB 2596, Lunar New Year (Assemblymember Low). Despite the challenges this created, the ANCA-WR saw this as an opportunity to engage with coalition partners, working closely especially with the Asian-American National Committee to bring much-needed awareness and exposure to the experiences and histories of the Armenian-American, Asian-American, and African-American communities. Through effective collaborative efforts with other communities and effective coordination with Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the ANCA-WR and friends were able to secure bipartisan support from legislators in both the California State Assembly and Senate, resulting in the passage of all three bills.
“This marks a significant milestone for the Armenian-American community’s path to justice,” commented Nora Hovsepian, Chair of the ANCA-WR Board of Directors. “Having fought for generations for formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the institutionalization of its recognition and commemoration in all public institutions, permanent designation of April 24 as a State holiday demonstrates that the community has made great strides, and will continue to fight tirelessly for the Armenian Cause. We are exceedingly grateful to Governor Gavin Newsom for his steadfast support of issues important to our community and to Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian for his vision and tireless efforts to secure passage of this important bill.”
“The Armenian-American community will undoubtedly lead all communities as we have for generations in advocating for justice for the crimes of genocide,” said Edward Barsoumian, Government Affairs Coordinator with the ANCA-WR, “and after federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, this state holiday on April 24th will ensure that the Armenian-American community is at the center of the conversation to address atrocity prevention and the preservation of human rights.
The ANCA-WR is proud to stand firmly alongside the Asian-American and African-American communities to ensure that all communities receive well-deserved representation in public institutions, especially in light of the many contributions that our communities have made toward the growth and success of the United States. Now and forever, April 24th, Juneteenth, and Lunar New Year will be honored by the entirety of the State of California and its institutions, paving a bright future for Armenian-American advocacy and intercommunal dialogue.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan 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 in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.