In attendance were Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Diane Watson, Speaker Emeritus Fabian Nunez, Assemblymember Paul Krekorian as well as several other notables. Mayor Villairagosa presided over the oath as Bass swore in to become the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly. During her inaugural speech Bass stated “As Speaker, I want to help the people of Los Angeles to be able to deliver on their dreams. To quote my candidate for President – Los Angeles let’s go change the world!”
Following the ceremony, the ANC had the chance to sit down with the Speaker and discuss issues of importance to Armenian Americans. Bass affirmed her support of the ANC and stressed the significance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide in order to end the atrocities that are being committed in Darfur today. The Speaker also reiterated Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s strong support of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) announced its endorsement of Obama in January 2008.
“Karen Bass is an inspiration to women everywhere and serves as a great role model,” remarked Souzi Zerounian, ANC-WR Board member. “Her efforts in advancing important state issues such as education are truly commendable and the Armenian American community congratulates her on this very important occasion,” she added.
Karen Bass represents the 47th Assembly district of California and has been a member of the State Assembly since 2005. Bass has been a staunch supporter of several important issues including education and foster care reform. She has also served as a California Co-chair of Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign as well as California African Americans for Obama.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo caption: California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.