The California State Senate on April 17 passed Senate Resolution 29 declaring April as a month of Armenian Genocide Recognition, commemorating the Armenian Genocide, calling for Turkey to return historic church properties to rightful congregations and requesting that the United States Government formally recognize the Armenian Genocide, Asbarez reported.
In his floor speech presenting SR 29, State Senator Anthony Portantino outlined the importance of the State Senate’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide for California residents and for the United States. He also shared details of the resilience of the Armenian people by reciting passages from William Saroyan in the Armenian language.
“It is an honor to represent the largest Armenian American community in the country and to be entrusted to appropriately commemorate the Genocide in the State Senate. It is our hope that California’s loud and clear voice once and for all gives Washington and the President the confidence to do the right thing and help people finally have the chance to heal from the horror perpetrated 102 years ago,” commented Portantino.
SR 29 was authored by Portantino and co-authored by the other members of the State Senate California, Armenian & Artsakh Select Committee: Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, Scott Wilk, Tony Mendoza and Josh Newman. Portantino is the Chair of the Select Committee.
In addition to recognizing actress Angela Sarafyan from The Promise on the Senate floor, Portantino and the Senate Select Committee helped facilitate the California Capitol screening of The Promise during Advocacy Day. Academy Award winning Director Terry George from The Promise was hosted at a reception in the State Capitol prior to the passage of SR 29. The State Senate ceremony began with a prayer from Very Reverend Father Dajad Ashekian and Very Reverend Father Pakrad Berjekian. Homenetmen Scouts from Santa Clara Ani Chapter conducted the Pledge of Allegiance and a broad coalition of Armenian American community leaders were introduced by Portantino as part of Advocacy Day during the commemoration.