GLENDALE—A stalwart friend of the Armenian-American community, Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, and the Armenian-American freshman Republican Assemblyman, Katcho Achadjian, will lead the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in the Sacramento on Thursday, April 14, when dozens of activists from around the state will converge on the Capitol to mark the 96th anniversary of the Genocide.
Hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region, the commemorative events will include an art exhibit in the Capitol Rotunda, a film screening of the documentary “The River Ran Red,” and a ceremony on the legislature floor with the participation of members from the State Senate and Assembly.
“I’m honored to have the ANCA’s support in leading the effort this year to commemorate the Armenian Genocide,” said Portantino. “I have worked diligently over the years to ensure that the Armenian-American community in my district, and throughout California, has a voice in Sacramento and I look forward to continuing our friendship for many years to come.”
“The annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Sacramento is one of the rare times in the State Legislature when politics are set aside and both parties come together for a solemn occasion: to remember the victims of the horrific crime that befell the Armenian people in 1915,” added Portantino.
Assemblyman Portantino has been a resolute supporter of Armenian-American issues in the five years that he has served in the State Legislature. He has met regularly with community leaders to hear the concerns of his constituents and he has consistently delivered on many fronts, to the benefit of the Armenian-American community.
Joining Portantino, Assemblyman Achadjian, who is descended from Armenian Genocide survivors, offered the following: “The Armenian Genocide was the darkest event in the Armenian people’s history and as the child and grandchild of survivors, I am proud to remember the martyrs and survivors as a representative of the State Assembly and as an Armenian-American.”
“For the past several years the ANCA has organized a day of remembrance for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide in California’s capital with the help of our friends in the State legislature and our dedicated corps of activists,” said Andrew Kzirian, chairman of the ANCA-WR board.
“We would like to thank our good friend, Assemblyman Portantino for taking the lead on this important day and we are confident that his efforts, as well as those of Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian will bring together a diverse group of our state’s lawmakers to mark this important occasion,” said Kzirian.
“Armenian-Americans have played an important role in California for over more than a century. Many refugees of the Armenian Genocide settled in California, where they became successful members of their communities and part of the fabric of American society. This commemoration remembers the 1.5 million people who were killed between 1915 and 1923 but it doubly serves as a testament to the rebirth of a nation in a place far away from Armenians’ homeland: the great state of California,” added Kzirian.
As part of the Advocacy Day, the Armenian-American activists will also visit their representatives, speaking to them about issues of importance to the Armenian-American community and issues relevant to their districts.
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.