The approximate population of the City of Glendale is estimated at 200,000, with more than 40 percent of the residents being of Armenian heritage. Currently, in Glendale, there are four Armenians serving on a-five member City Council, four Armenians serving on a-five member school board in the Glendale Unified School District (35 percent of students being of Armenian background), and three Armenians serving on a-five member Glendale Community College Board of Trustees (37 percent of students attending have an Armenian surname).
In Addition, Ardy Kassakhian is the Glendale City Clerk and Rafi Manoukian is the Glendale City Treasurer. These elected terms are four years in duration and as elected members they have to declare their candidacy and campaign for re election every four years if they desire to continue. Therefore, out of seventeen elected officials in Glendale, thirteen are Armenians. This is an important factor in the Diasporan politics that so many Armenians in one city are involved in civic governance.
It is of historical importance and a proud moment for everyone to recognize that the top positions in the three governing boards of the City of Glendale are three dedicated Individuals who have been elected to office by registered voters in Glendale and who were unanimously chosen by their respective governance members to lead them and the Glendale Community at large.
Vartan Gharpetian, Mayor, City Of Glendale
Mayor Vartan Gharpetian has had an extensive record of great leadership and service in the City of Glendale and its surrounding communities. He was first elected to office in 2015. He has held numerous leadership positions such as being the Chair of the Glendale Housing Authority, Glendale Adventist Medical Foundation Civic Advisory Board, Vice-President of Davidian and Mariamian Educational Foundation board, Glendale Police Foundation board member, Glendale Chamber of Commerce member, and Glendale Association of Realtors member are to just name a few. In addition, he was a Commissioner for the Glendale Historic Preservation Society, the Glendale Parks/Recreation/Community Services, and the Glendale Design Review Board. Mayor Gharpetian is very interested in improving the quality of life in Glendale and envisions a vibrant community which addresses the needs of its residents, constituents and businesses. He has dedicated his time and energy in serving others as he is very passionate about solving problems. His commitment is validated by his active participation in many community events where he is known for having candid conversations with all those with whom he interacts and with those entities who reach out to him for assistance. He is very proud of the quality of services provided by City employees, services and departments. He is married to Dr. Armine Gharpetian, who is the immediate past president of the Glendale Unified School District Board. They have three daughters; one attends college, and the younger two attend Glendale Unified School District.
Board President Nayiri Nahabedian, Glendale Unified School District (GUSD)
Nayiri Nahabedian is a committed community activist, an admired advocate of children and their families, and a champion of progressive policies for over twenty-five years. After receiving her Masters Degree in Social Work from UCLA, she worked tirelessly in the LA County Department of Children and Family Services helping struggling families. Her passion for community building and learning was the driving force for becoming a full-time educator in the School of Social Work at California State University of LA. She was first elected to GUSD Board in 2007, and this is her second board presidency; leading and serving students, employees, and families. President Nahabedian is a forceful advocate for every student’s opportunity to learn and succeed. She has played a critical, district-wide role in significantly reducing the rates of expulsions and suspensions by introducing mental health services intern programs. She has been instrumental in establishing foreign language academies (FLAG) as well. President Nahabedian holds public office hours for all those who need her leadership as she takes on conveyed problems as challenges which require further inquiry. Holding office hours has been the result of countless conversations she has had throughout her career with parents, students, and concerned community members who have brought key concerns to her attention. Also, holding office hours for the public has allowed her to connect personally with the community for which she advocates sincerely and serves so well.
Board President Dr. Armine Hacopian, Glendale Community College (GCC)
Last April, Dr. Hacopian was re-elected to the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees for a fifth term and was voted as president for a fourth term by her colleagues. A life-long educator, she has always focused on student access and success as her guiding principle. Her academic and professional achievements which include six credentials, two MA’s, and a doctorate in Organizational Management attest to her sincere commitment to education. Dr. Hacopian has held numerous roles in K-12, and has been a faculty member for graduate schools at various universities. In addition, she has participated in many college/university accreditation teams bringing best practices to GCC. She has been honored by various elected officials and organizations for her contributions to the field of education. She is a member of AEF, ARS, local Property Owners Association director, a member of LA County Committee on School District Organization, past member of AIWA, and League of Women Voters are noteworthy. She is passionate for graduating students to meet the workforce needs of the 21st Century and intends to facilitate the increase of IT and on-line courses. Promoting scholarly programs which help students transfer to universities and establishing direct pathways from high school to GCC, then to university, is of critical importance to her. During her tenure GCC was granted a seven year accreditation last year. She is married to Vahe Hacopian who is the current board president of the Armenian Educational Foundation. They have five grand-children who attend Chamlian Elementary School.