SACRAMENTO—The The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region welcomes the introduction of ACR 148, authored and introduced by California State Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, which requests the Department of Transportation to place informational signs on State Highway Route 60 in Los Angeles County directing motorists to the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument.
“My father was one of the original founders of the Armenian Genocide Monument in Montebello and a member of the Armenian Monument Council,” said Montebello ANC activist Murad Minasian. “What they worked to accomplish back then was a great achievement and we are proud to learn that Majority Leader Calderon is committed to highlighting this historic Monument on a state highway. His efforts will resonate not just throughout the Armenian American community in this region, but throughout the State of California,” he added.
ACR 148 includes a brief history of the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument which dates back to 1965, when the Monument was erected in Bicknell Park in the City of Montebello in dedication to those who perished during the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, the resolution recognizes the Monument as a “beacon of awareness for crimes against all humanity.” Upon its passage in both chambers of the State Legislature, information signs will be erected on the westbound portion of State Highway Route 60 leading to the Garfield Avenue exit and the eastbound portion of State Highway Route 60 leading to the Garfield Avenue exit. ACR 148 will not have a fiscal impact on the State California, as non state sources will be used to cover the costs of signs.
“In the 1980’s, I enacted legislation requiring that the Armenian Genocide be included as part of the history curriculum in our public schools so that future generations of Californians would know about the atrocities committed against the Armenian people,” said Assembly Majority Leader Calderon. “I am proud to be carrying a Joint Resolution this session that will direct CalTrans to erect a sign on the 60 freeway to mark the location of the only Memorial in California honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Now, all who see the signage will remember this black mark on world history and in doing so, silently commit to fight these crimes against humanity and vow that they will never happen again,” he added.
Assembly Majority Leader Calderon’s ACR 148 contributes to California’s proud record of raising awareness about genocides and standing up against this crime against humanity. California was one of the first states to pass targeted divestment and contract prohibitions legislation against worst-offending companies doing business in Sudan. In 2009, Assembly Bill 961 (AB 961), was introduced by then Assemblymember Krekorian to ensure that California taxpayer dollars are not spent on companies that profit from genocide. AB 961 identifies the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, and the genocide in Bosnia as cases for which companies must register compliance in order to be eligible to secure a contract with the state. AB 961 is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Senate Bill 234 (SB 234) introduced by Senator Mark Wyland was another important step towards raising awareness about genocides. SB 234 urges the inclusion of an oral history component to genocide education curriculum already mandated for California’s high school students. SB 234 is also currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.