GLENDALE—On Tuesday, April 3, Glendale City Council member Zareh Sinanyan was selected Glendale City Mayor, replacing Vartan Gharpetian. This is Sinanyan’s second term as Mayor. Council Members are elected by the public at large, while the Mayor is selected by the Council Members on an annual basis. Glendale Council Members serve four-year terms with an election cycle every two years.
Soon after the City Council’s decision Tuesday night, congratulatory messages began appearing on social media, with the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, the Glendale ANCA and other organizations and individuals posting well wishes to the new mayor. The Armenian community of Javakhk also congratulated Sinanyan, who spent a significant portion of his trip to Armenia last summer in the Armenian-populated region of Georgia.
“Mr. Sinanyan has an established record of leadership and an incomprobale commitment to public service. We look forward to working closely with him throughout the next year on issues that concern the Armenian American community and the City of Glendale residents at-large,” stated Armenian National Committee of Amreica Glendale Chair Artin Manoukian.
“ANCA Glendale would also like to thank and acknowledge former City Mayor Vartan Gharpetian for his excellent year serving our City. There were many challenges facing Glendale in the past year which, Mr. Gharpetian took on with dignity and aptitude,” stated the ANCA Glendale spokesperson.
In his inaugural remarks on Tuesday evening, Mayor Sinanyan highlighted some of the key priorities he will be working on throughout the year such as, promoting inclusivity and ensuring the safety of our city; expanding the economy with policies such as the Glendale Tech Initiative; strengthening downtown with an eye towards increasing its stature as a major business center; continuing the City’s efforts to bring modern mass transit to Glendale; and bringing into fruition the Maryland/Artsakh Paseo project which will create open, walkable space in Downtown.
Sinanyan also placed a heavy emphasis on increasing low income and workforce housing by aggressively looking for more housing opportunities and cooperating with the state to expand the housing stock and provide shelter for the elderly, economically disadvantaged and veterans. Additionally, he emphasized ensuring the environmental health of our city, with fiscally responsible and forward thinking policies, and adhering to the obligations set by the Mayor’s National Climate Action Agenda, which he initiated earlier this year.
Furthermore, Sinanyan remarked that “City Council in Your Neighborhood” will be reinstated in order to strengthen the tie between City Hall and the various neighborhoods in Glendale. He also mentioned two new initiatives, converting one of the less attended libraries to an exclusively children’s’ library and learning center, as well as organizing a Mayor’s non-profit mini summit to bring together the various organizations in Glendale.
Sinanyan was born in former Soviet Armenia and moved to Burbank, Calif. in 1988, where he attended John Muir Junior High and Burbank High Schools. His family moved to Glendale in 1998. He received his BA degrees in Political Science and History from UCLA in 1997. He received his Juris Doctorate from University of Southern California Law School. Since 2001, Sinanyan has practiced as a civil litigator and currently has his own law practice in Glendale, Calif.
While studying at UCLA, Sinanyan demonstrated a passion for public service and representative democracy by being active in the student body government and presiding over the Armenian Students’ Association from 1995-1996.
In law school Sinanyan externed for Justice Earl Johnson of the California Court of Appeal where he helped draft appellate opinions for a number of cases ranging from criminal to civil matters. During his law school studies, Sinanyan also clerked and worked for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division.
In 2006 Sinanyan was appointed by the Glendale City Council to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission. During his two years as a Parks Commissioner, he participated in the upgrading and opening of several parks in south Glendale. In 2008, Sinanyan was appointed by the City Council to serve on the Community Development Block Grant Advisory (CDBG) Commission, helping the Community Development Department and the City adeptly navigate through this period of drastic decreases in available Federal block grants, making sure that the impact of such cuts are kept to a minimum. From 2009 through 2011 he chaired the CDBG Commission, ensuring increased cooperation and collaboration between individual Commissioners, staff and community organizations seeking grant funding.
In April of 2013, Sinanyan was elected to Glendale City Council. From April 2013 through April 2014 he served as Glendale Housing Authority Chairman. He served as Mayor of Glendale April of 2014 through April 2015, and was the founding Chair of the Glendale Economic Development Corporation. Sinanyan was re-elected to Glendale City Council in April 2017. He currently serves Vice-President of Hollywood Burbank Airport Authority, and Chairman of the Eco-Rapid Transit Authority.
Zareh and his wife Lori have been married for over 18 years. Sinanyan’s wife Lori is General Council with Relativity Media. They have four young children, all of them students at Glendale Unified School District schools.