The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region and the ANCA Hollywood Chapter organized a tour of Little Armenia for Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis on Wednesday, April 6.
Following the Los Angeles County redistricting process, Little Armenia was transferred to the first supervisorial district represented by Solis. During a meeting with Supervisor Solis, the ANCA-WR proposed organizing a tour of Little Armenia to introduce the Supervisor to the local Armenian community – to which she enthusiastically agreed.
The tour began at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in the heart of Little Armenia, where Supervisor Solis was greeted by students who performed a traditional Armenian dance and bread-cutting ceremony. Supervisor Solis toured the facility with Principal Maral Tavitian, visiting classrooms and meeting with students — observing the crucial role the Armenian community’s educational institutions play in the preservation of cultural heritage.
Following the school visit, the Supervisor continued to St. Garabed Armenian Church. There the Supervisor met with Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian, who introduced her to Armenia’s rich Christian heritage and the significant role of the Church in preserving Armenian identity and culture — particularly during the Armenian genocide.
From St. Garabed, Supervisor Solis visited the Postoian Pre-School where the Pre-School’s Director Kristina Movsessian and 2 toddlers welcomed the Supervisor and presented her with a photo frame prepared by the kids.
Then, Supervisor Solis and community leaders had lunch at the Hollywood Armenian Youth Center, catered by a local Armenian business showcasing the staples of Armenian cuisine. At the meeting, Supervisor Solis presented certificates to all community organizations in the area in appreciation of their service to the community.
The lunch meeting was followed by a tour of the Asbarez Newspaper offices and the Horizon Armenian TV studios.
Asbarez Editor Ara Khachatourian briefed Supervisor Solis on the newspaper’s activities, outlining that for 114 years Asbarez has served the Armenian-American community on the Western United States. The two discussed ways of further amplifying the services provided by the county and Solis’ office to better assist the community.
At the conclusion of the tour, Supervisor Solis visited the Armenian Relief Society Social Services Center where she was introduced to the important work the organization plays in providing vital social services to the Armenian community — from COVID-19 relief, employment assistance, housing support, and immigration services amongst others. Expressing her gratitude for the work of the ARS, Solis provided COVID-19 rapid testing kits and 100 pre-filled Los Angeles Metro cards to be distributed to disadvantaged members of the community, and pledged her support for their ongoing work.
“I was honored to tour Little Armenia, a community I now represent thanks to redistricting, alongside residents and stakeholders. Having proudly served the Armenian community of Montebello and the San Gabriel Valley for many years, I am thrilled to now be able to represent another vibrant Armenian community — particularly one that holds so much value to Armenian-Americans. I look forward to working with organizations like the ANCA-WR to best serve Little Armenia, and to elevate the voice of this dynamic and diverse community,” Supervisor Solis shared.
Little Armenia is the birthplace of the Los Angeles Armenian community, and a reflection of the indelible impact Armenian migrants have made on the social, cultural, economic, and political fabric of the city for over a century. For Armenians fleeing persecution, Little Armenia was often the first port of call — a sanctuary for the preservation and celebration of Armenian culture.
“We are looking forward to our collaboration and partnership with Supervisor Solis and her team to bring resources to Little Armenia and its surrounding communities and improving its members’ quality of life,” remarked Co-Chair of the ANCA Hollywood Chapter Suren Seropian.
“Little Armenia is a symbol of the Armenian-American community’s enduring impact on Los Angeles, and stands as a celebration of the city’s incredible diversity,” remarked ANCA-WR Board Member, Anahid Oshagan, Esq. “Representing Little Armenia bears with it a responsibility to our community, and we are delighted by the incredible enthusiasm with which Supervisor Solis has taken up that task. We look forward to working with her to ensure our community continues to flourish.” Anahid concluded.
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.