GLENDALE’s Community members and activists gathered at the August 12th, 2008 Glendale City Council meeting to condemn Councilmember Weaver’s stereotypical commen’s towards the Armenian-American community as they awaited the Councilman’s response However, Weaver failed to apologize for his biased commen’s published in the Pasadena Weekly. Instead, he defended his previous statement and explained that by “;one segment of the population who likes to smoke” he meant “smokers,” a blatant distortion of what he really implied, but a politically correct one nonetheless.
Mayor Drayman refrained from taking a stance but conveyed that Weaver’s commen’s, which followed his own, would make or break the concord of the Glendale community and the ability of the City Council to move on.
“The City Council is not playing the leadership role needed in setting the proper tone for the rest of the city to follow simply because it is being tolerant of divisive commen’s made by Councilmember Weaver and others in the community,” stated Elen Asatryan, Executive Director of ANCG. “Had they as a body, not as individuals condemned Councilmember Weaver it would have sent the proper signal to the rest of the employees and the community – that being that this city has a zero tolerance for stereotypes and discriminatory behavior,” added Asatryan.
In his short statement Councilman Dave Weaver did not address his unwillingness to take credit for his words which were attributed to Mayor Drayman during the July 29th City Council meeting or his history of disrespectful and discriminatory behavior on the dais. He instead called the allegations of racism, championed by the Armenian National Committee ‘s Glendale Chapter “politics,” and asserted that he will not be resigning from office, despite the charges of ethnic stereotyping.
Ironically, some may argue that by making the statemen’s prior to the discussion of the smoking ban ordinance and the review of the ANCG survey results, Councilmember Weaver himself turned the issue of the smoking ban into “politics” in order to gratify his base. At this time, It is no secret that Weaver’s voting record suggests Anti-Armenian sentiment, as witnessed by the Absentee Ballot measure, among others. It is clearly no accident that Pasadena weekly would imply that Weaver meant Armenian-Americans during the interview. It is hard to assume otherwise, taking into account that the reporter did not know Weaver personally, and was not familiar with his previous history ‘s a testament to the lack of bias on the columnist’s behalf. Therefore, his interpretation of Weaver’s words must be reflective of actual commen’s to a large degree, regardless of the actual quotes used in the article.
During the oral communication portion of the meeting, community members asked for Weaver’s resignation and noted that Councilmember Weaver has a track record for systematically alienating, degrading and antagonizing an entire community every time he has the chance.
The topic concluded with a consensus from the council members that the debate over Weaver’s commen’s has taken much time out of the meetings and that it is more important to focus on maintaining a level of respect and to avoid generalizations in the future.
The Armenian National Committee-Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. It is the voice of this vibrant community, which seeks to advance and enrich Glendale.