IRVINE, CA – Members of the Armenian American community of Orange County met with Mayor Farrah Khan and the City Manager on May 9th. It was abundantly clear that the community’s collective voices were heard following the widely circulated video of Mayor Khan with well-known genocide deniers; many sent letters and emails, and called the City of Irvine, and attended the City Council Meeting on April 12th.
Mayor Khan confirmed that all genocide deniers, including both Ergun Kirlikovali and Erkan Demiragci, have been removed from her advisory committee, and none are on any city council commission or committee and that she no longer associates with any such genocide deniers.
Following much discussion about the Genocide Education Program, Mayor Khan stated she will reach out to Cyril Yu, Trustee of the Irvine Unified School Board, to lead the effort to coordinate and support the Genocide Education Project training Irvine Unified School District educators.
Mayor Khan affirmed that a permanent Armenian Genocide Memorial can be erected in the city of Irvine and agreed to work with the community to achieve this. As a reminder, the City of Irvine, at its April 12th city council meeting, proclaimed April 24 of every year to be a day of remembrance for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
ANCA OC welcomed this meeting and the mayor’s eagerness and intent to work with the Armenian community. We will be following up to make sure the promises made today are delivered, and that the city of Irvine writes to President Biden in support of humanitarian aid to Armenians of Artsakh along with enforcing section 907 to stop military aid to Azerbaijan and that a second letter is sent to the Azeri Consul General demanding the release of the Armenian POWs still being held following the 44-day war of 2020.