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GCC won't lose revenue for commemorating Armenian Genocide

GCC won't lose revenue for commemorating Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Glendale Community College Armenian Genocide Commemoration Bill, SB 568, authored by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge), was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Prior to the passage of SB 568, GCC would have had to forfeit nearly $500,000 if it were to close on April 24th to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.

Unlike the K-12 Education Code, which gave the GUSD the ability to properly respect and close on April 24th, Community Colleges had no such authority prior to today. This situation created an emotional and practical problem for many Glendale families where one child attended GCC and another attended a school which closed. It also created a significant financial difficulty for GCC in order to properly respect such an important and solemn day for many of the school families and the greater GCC community. To rectify the situation, GCC Board Members requested legislative help from Senator Portantino. As a long-time friend and supporter of the college and the Armenian American Community, Senator Portantino respectfully took up the cause. Today’s action is the final appropriate result!

“Two years ago, I was honored to have been asked by GCC Board members to help offset the cost of closing on April 24th. Today, I am very proud to have sent a bill to the Governor to help our Armenian Community, greater community, the faculty, administrators, and students of GCC solemnly and appropriately commemorate the Armenian Genocide without unnecessary financial pressure. I am grateful to Governor Newsom, who continues to support and recognize the importance of the Armenian American Community in California, for his signature, sensitivity and understanding of this situation,” commented Senator Portantino.

Senator Portantino, who has a long and positive relationship with the Armenian American and Glendale Community College community, negotiated directly with the Community College Chancellor’s Office to bring an amenable solution to this issue. The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate and the Assembly. The signing of SB 568 is the culmination of those discussions and actions.

"Glendale Community College commends Senator Portantino for his leadership and the Legislature and Governor Newsom for their support in enactment of this important law. GCC will use this legal day of remembrance, and other opportunities throughout the year, to educate our students and communities about the Armenian Genocide to assure such atrocities never happen again," said Dr. David Viar, Superintendent/President of GCC.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Glendale Community College, I thank Senator Portantino’s tireless effort on behalf of our students. We are extremely grateful that the Senator championed this issue and enabled us to commemorate the Armenian Genocide by closing our campuses without incurring a financial penalty," added Board of Trustees President Dr. Vahé Peroomian.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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