In line with her stated mission to ensure diversity and inclusion in City government, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has appointed three Armenian professionals as City Commissioners. The City of Los Angeles Commission Boards are made up of community leaders who share their expertise and provide strategic policy recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on a variety of challenges that the City faces.
Following her election as Mayor, Bass appointed Nora Hovsepian Esq., Chair of ANCA Western Region Board, as part of her Mayoral Transition Advisory Team, which provides advice and counsel over the course of the first 100 days of her Administration. Over her long political career, Mayor Bass has always been a strong supporter of Armenian American issues both in Sacramento where she served in the State Assembly and as Speaker, and in Washington DC, where she served as a member of Congress. She co-sponsored H.Res.1351 in 2022, condemning Azerbaijan’s unprovoked military attacks on Armenia and Artsakh and calling on the Biden administration to immediately withhold further assistance to Azerbaijan. Since becoming Mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Bass has worked closely with Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian in calling upon the Biden Administration to end the illegal blockade of the Republic of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and to take steps to protect the Armenians of Artsakh.
“I am grateful to Mayor Bass for including me, as representative of the ANCA Western Region, in her transition team and for accepting the recommendations we made for commission appointments. As one of the largest and most active ethnic minority constitutencies in the City, Armenian-Americans deserve a seat at the table to ensure that our community’s rights and interests are protected at all levels. I believe the appointments made by Mayor Bass from our community will go a long way in achieving these goals, and we look forward to working with Commissioners Davidian, Danielian and Gourdikian in this regard,” stated Nora Hovsepian.
As the newest appointee to the powerful Transportation Commission, Viggen Davidian joined a board of seven members and replaced former Commissioner John Ly. The Los Angeles Transportation Commission works closely with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) in reviewing proposed ordinances regulating city streets, providing oversight of off-street parking, maintaining control of the Special Parking Revenue Fund, and regulating vehicles for hire.
Mr. Davidian has over 41 years of professional and project leadership experience in traffic and civil engineering, multimodal transportation planning, and environmental analysis in both the private and public sectors. He is Vice President of Iteris, Inc., a leading national transportation and mobility technology firm. “I am honored to have been appointed by Mayor Karen Bass as a Transportation Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. I welcome the opportunity to use my experience to support and assist the Department of Transportation in improving mobility in our world-class City. With the advancements in technology and data analytics, we are in an exciting era for the transportation industry. I am very optimistic that we can solve complex transportation problems and build thriving communities through strategic and long-term planning, innovative solutions and building strong coalitions”, said Davidian.
As a new commissioner to the Commissioner on the Status of Women under the LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department, Lucig H. Danielian, PhD, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this important position. The Commission on the Status of Women was first established by Mayor Tom Bradley in 1975, with the mission to advance the general welfare of women and girls in the Los Angeles community and to ensure that all women have full and equal participation in City government. The Commission engages in several different issue areas such as Gender Equality & Workforce Development, Preventing Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace, Connecting Women in City Government, the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking & Female Homelessness and others.
Dr. Danielian is a longtime ANCA activist, and was the first Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Los Angeles. She is currently an independent contractor with 25 years of research and consulting experience in a variety of areas concerning democracy and institution building, political participation, and public policy. She earned her PhD in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and was a faculty member at the State University of New York at Albany, where she received a University Faculty Fellowship for research on mass communication and democratic movements in Armenia during the soviet period. Dr. Danielian moved to Armenia full-time in 1994 and joined the faculty of the American University of Armenia in 1995 where she served as Provost and Vice President, Dean of the Graduate School of Political Science and International Affairs, and Director of the Turpanjian Center for Policy Analysis. As Board Chair of the Open Society Institute Armenia Foundation, Danielian conducted the first nationwide survey of domestic abuses against women in Armenia, and supervised the first assessment of human rights education at all levels and institutions in Armenia.
“I am proud to have been given the opportunity by Mayor Bass to represent and promote the interests of women, girls and minorities within the Commission on the Status of Women as we work to transform the city I love into one based on justice for all who call it home,” remarked Dr. Danielian.
Mayor Bass’ third commission appointment from our community is to the South Valley Area Planning Commission where Nareg Gourdikian brings his professional experience working in affordable and workforce housing development throughout Southern California to the table. Gourdikian has Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Geography from UC Santa Barbara. Prior to working in housing, he worked in life sciences and technology real estate development. He has been an active member of the Southern California American-Armenian community through volunteer work with several organizations, including the ANCA-WR. He loves maps and all things transit and mobility, and enjoys hiking and mountain biking in LA.
“I am very excited to join the City of LA’s South Valley Area Planning Commission, which serves a large and vibrant American-Armenian community. In this role, I will work with commissioner-colleagues to advise and make recommendations on matters related to city planning and development. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve on the Commission, and am eager to contribute my professional expertise in housing development to further the City’s goals of making Los Angeles a more sustainable, dynamic and livable community,” stated Gourdikian.
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.