Political Landscape:

Survivor stories for the record

May 06, 2010

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Wednesday called on Armenian Genocide survivors and descendants to submit their stories and memories for inclusion into the congressional record.

The effort parallels a congressional resolution Schiff introduced to recognize and commemorate the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. Schiff in a statement said he plans to make the submissions part of the nation’s enduring record of congressional proceedings.

“Let us fill the congressional record with the personal histories of those who survived the genocide and their families,” he said. “While there are still some survivors left, we can use the official record of the Congress to document the first genocide of the last century. This can become an important resource for historians, a vital part of our nation’s archives, and a part of the continuing effort to educate members of Congress as we move forward with the genocide resolution.”


The Armenian Genocide, while recognized by more than 20 nations, has not been formally recognized by the U.S. Congress. Schiff is the primary sponsor of the Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide, which calls on the president and government to officially recognize events that resulted in 1.5 million deaths as genocide.

Schiff recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to properly characterize the murder of 1.5 million Armenians as “genocide” in his annual April 24 statement marking the start of the genocide. Obama did not do so.

Send stories to mary. hovagimian@mail.

Assn. of Museums honors Portantino

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) on Tuesday was presented the President’s Award by the California Assn. of Museums.

In a ceremony at the state capitol, Portantino was recognized for his support of the state’s museums and cultural institutions and for his legislation backing the arts community.

Portantino said it was an honor to be recognized by state museums.

“The arts and creative industries are major drivers for California’s economic future and yet, their budgets have been slashed to the bone in these tight economic times,” he said. “It used to be that arts were a major part of everyday schooling. But that’s no longer true; arts classes are always the first to go.”

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