SACRAMENTO—Assmeblymembers Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, (R-San Luis Obispo), along with State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) introduced AJR 2 designating April 24, 2011 as California Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide. For the past several years, the state Legislature has memorialized the events of the early 20th century with a resolution marking April 24th as the symbolic beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
The resolution calls on President Obama and Congress to formally recognize the atrocities committed during the genocide and calls on Turkey to acknowledge its role in the Armenian Genocide and the deaths of more than 1.5 million people.
The word “genocide” was first used in 1948 in the establishment of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide in referring to “the Turkish massacres of Armenians”.
California is home to the largest population of Armenians outside of Armenia with large numbers of Americans of Armenian ancestry living in the Southern California cities of Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood and Pasadena.
“The Armenian massacre was one of the greatest crimes in modern history and to ignore it is to condone,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “I am honored to join my new colleague, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, in the introduction of this Resolution remembering the 1.5 million Armenians who were tragically killed in the first genocide of the 20th Century. We hope to properly commemorate this horrendous act and offer some peace and respect for the survivors and their family members who live in California.”
AJR 2 is a bi-partisan and bi-cameral effort, jointly authored by Portantino and Achadjian with Principal co-authors, State Senators Joe Simitian, Tom Berryhill, Kevin De León, Carol Liu, Mark Wyland, and Leland Yee and Assemblymembers Mike Gatto and Linda Halderman.