The Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region announced earlier today that Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian will be honored with the 2016 ANCA-WR Legislator of the Year Award in recognition of his unwavering and strong leadership in the California State Legislature and ongoing commitment to passionately defending and advancing issues critical to Armenians worldwide. Nazarian will accept the award at the Gala Banquet on Sunday, October 16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
"Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian is a true son of the Armenian community and has been a devoted advocate of the Armenian Cause since his days as a student. He has carried his sense of duty with him throughout his political career and has served admirably in the California State Assembly as the torchbearer of issues that are important to all of us, ranging from leading a legislative trip to Armenia and Artsakh, to creating the California Armenian Legislative Caucus, to spearheading Armenian Genocide education in public schools, to introducing legislation for divestment of public funds from Turkish government investment vehicles. We are proud to bestow the 2016 ANCA-Western Region's Legislator of the Year Award upon Assemblymember Nazarian and look forward to working with him on new successes as he continues to ably serve the people of the State of California," stated ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian.
"I am honored to be awarded the Legislator of the Year Award by the ANCA-Western Region," stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. "Together, we have honored the sacrifices of our ancestors and embodied the entrepreneurial spirit that has emboldened Armenians to continued success no matter the obstacles. I hope to continue our work in California; creating jobs, upgrading our infrastructure, and ensuring a quality education for our children."
Adrin Nazarian was elected in November 2012 to represent California's 46th Assembly District, which includes Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.
Since entering office, Nazarian has consistently been one of the strongest voices for Armenians and fiercest advocates on many issues, most notably regarding Armenian Genocide education and divestment of state funds from Turkey. As a founding member of the Armenian Legislative Caucus, Nazarian authored and signed into law the Armenian Genocide Education Act (AB 1915) which helped ensure that the Armenian Genocide would be included in the new History-Social Studies curriculum framework adopted by the California State Board of Education.
Throughout the years, Nazarian has continued the tradition of the annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Sacramento and, in marking the 100th Anniversary, took a leadership role in organizing the California State Capitol Centennial events, bringing the "Armenian Journey: From Shattered Past to Prosperity" exhibit to the California State Museum, promoting the inclusion of Armenian Genocide books in the California State Library, and launching a statewide essay competition on the Armenian Genocide.
In 2013, he spearheaded and led the first California delegation trip to Armenia and Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno Karabagh). The following year, Nazarian played a key role in ensuring passage of AJR 32, recognizing Artsakh's right to self-determination and independence.
Most recently, Nazarian successfully secured $1 Million in the State's 2016-2017 Budget for an Armenian-American Museum in Glendale and $500,000 for the LARK Musical Society. Read on