HOLLYWOOD, California – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Hollywood Chapter met with Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on March 30, 2023 to provide an introduction to the local Armenian-American community.
“It was a pleasure to meet with Councilmember Soto-Martinez, and have the opportunity to discuss the significant contributions Armenians have made to Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles as a whole,” remarked ANCA Hollywood Chair Lara Yeretsian. “Hollywood has been an important center of Armenian community life in Southern California for decades, and we look forward to working with Councilmember Soto-Martinez to empower the local Armenian community, and ensure vital community services receive the support they need.”
Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez was elected to represent Los Angeles Council District 13 during the 2022 City Council elections. The district encompasses Hollywood, East Hollywood, Silverlake, Elysian Heights, Echo Park and Atwater Village. The district also includes Little Armenia – named in honor of the indelible impact Armenian Americans have made to the City of Los Angeles and Hollywood, home to one of the first Armenian communities in the City of Los Angeles – and a number of Armenian community institutions and organizations including Rose and Alex Pilibos School, St. Garabed Armenian Church, the Armenian Relief Society Hollywood social services center, and the Armenian Youth Federation Mousa Ler chapter, among others.
“Beyond providing services to empower Armenian renters, workers, immigrants, small business owners, and constituents, we aim to reverse the trend of gentrification in Little Armenia, organize Armenians into the political process, and show solidarity with Armenians in Artsakh who have been enduring an illegal blockade for months,” remarked council member Soto Martinez.
During the meeting, Councilmember Soto-Martinez highlighted his experience as a union organizer and his deep commitment to uplifting and empowering the city’s most vulnerable. He also highlighted his desire to work with the ANCA Hollywood chapter to ensure the city was advancing the wellbeing of the district’s Armenian-speaking population – including through supporting the Armenian Relief Society’s programs, and the Armenian Bar Association’s pro-bono services. The ANCA Hollywood chapter also mentioned the importance of supporting and providing resources for Armenian-owned businesses that have been serving the local community for decades, particularly in the wake of the pandemic given the toll it had on small businesses.
Since being elected to office, Soto-Martinez has been an outspoken advocate for the Armenian-American community, joining LA City Council President Paul Krekorian introducing a resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh – and calling for the immediate reopening of the Lachin Corridor to ensure vital humanitarian supplies reach the region’s 120,000 indigenous Armenians. Councilmember Soto-Martinez also recently attended the 132nd anniversary celebration of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation at the Alex Theater in Glendale alongside hundreds of Armenian-American community members.
Photo caption: Seda Papazyan, Maria Lazaryan, Aram Martirosyan, councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, Lara Yeretsian, Taline Yeretsian-Manuelian