PASADENA, California – Representatives of the ANCA’s Pasadena, La Crescenta, Burbank and Glendale chapters were joined by the chair of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Camp Board and the AYF’s La Crescenta and Pasadena chapter chairs in an hour-long meeting with Assemblymember Chris Holden to discuss efforts currently underway in the California State Assembly to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its unabated aggression against the Armenians of Artsakh
“We are grateful for Assemblymember Holden’s leadership on issues of importance to Armenian-Americans,” remarked ANCA National Board Member Aida Dimejian. “From condemnation of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, to establishing the Syunik-California Sister-State Agreement – we look forward to working with Assemblymember Holden to solidify California’s support for the Armenian people.”
Last week, Assemblymember Holden introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (AJR 1), condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh and calling on the Biden Administration to take immediate steps to hold Baku accountable for its aggression – including withholding military assistance to Azerbaijan, calling for the imposition of sanctions in regime officials, and urging immediate humanitarian aid be provided to Artsakh’s vulnerable Armenian population.
“It was critical to work swiftly and put forth a call to action to support Armenians in Artsakh, Armenia, and the diaspora at large,” remarked Assemblymember Chris Holden. “It is clear that Azerbaijan will continue weaponizing basic human necessities under the guise of environmentalism and we must ensure Baku is held accountable for its brazen aggression. That is why I introduced AJR 1 and call for its urgent passage to put an end to this humanitarian crisis.”
Also discussed during the meeting were the efforts to build on Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105 (ACR 105), which established the sister-state relationship between California and Syunik. The measure came amidst Azerbaijan’s escalating territorial claims against the region, and its constant recourse to terrorizing the region’s residents – culminating in its military assault and occupation of significant portions of Syunik’s territory in September 2022, which displaced several thousand residents, and saw horrific human rights abuses perpetrated against prisoners of war.
“The passage of the ACR 105 resolution by the California State Legislature on the establishment of a sister state relationship between the State of California and Syunik province of Armenia was a milestone step in empowering the region’s population amidst Azerbaijan’s brazen threats,” remarked ANCA Pasadena Chair Shoghig Yepremian.
During the meeting, local leaders discussed opportunities for securing support for a range of programs that support the local Armenian community. This includes making resources available to support local community centers, social services programs, and youth engagement programs including AYF Camp – which is situated in Assemblymember Holden’s district.
“In addition to his powerful leadership on issues pertaining to Armenia and Artsakh, Assemblymember Holden has also been committed to empowering and uplifting his Armenian-American constituents,” remarked ANCA Crescenta Valley Chair Alice Chalian. “We’re glad to enjoy a close working relationship with Assemblymember Holden, and look forward to working with him to ensure our grassroots community organizations and community-led programs receive the support they need.”
Assemblymember Chris Holden represents California’s 41st Assembly District, which includes Pasadena, Altadena, La Canada Flintridge, parts of La Crescenta, and most of the San Gabriel Mountains including Wrightwood.