Biden’s Recognition of Armenian Genocide Praised in Burbank

Photo Courtesy Romik Yaghoobimasihi
Mayor Bob Frutos addresses attendees of last Saturday’s event recognizing the Armenian Genocide and memorializing the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed. Behind him are City Councilmember Nick Schultz, Rep. Adam Schiff, City Councilmember Konstantine Anthony and Reps. Judy Chu, Tony Cárdenas and Jimmy Gomez.

Burbank representatives and a local Armenian community group are commending President Joe Biden’s recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Biden’s announcement was the first made by a United States president recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in present-day Turkey. Last Saturday, April 24, 106 years after the genocide began, his statement was echoed by several local leaders during an event in front of Burbank City Hall.
The chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America in Burbank, which is home to a significant Armenian population, placed a genocide memorial outside the building, at which attendees could leave flowers. City hall was also lit that weekend with the red, blue and orange colors of the Armenian flag.
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Local Nurse Receives ‘Woman of the Year’ Award

Photo courtesy office of Assemblywoman Laura Friedman
Emelda Pasco, a nurse at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, receives the 2021 “Woman of the Year” Award from California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.

A nurse at the local Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center recently received the local State Assembly district’s “Woman of the Year” award.
Emelda Pasco, who has worked at the hospital for about 30 years and has cared for COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, was honored at a small ceremony in Burbank. Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, presented her with the award.
Pasco told the Leader she was wary when she was contacted about the award, for two reasons. First, she initially thought it was a spam call. And second, she wondered, “Why me?”

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Local Unemployment Rose in January

Burbank’s representative in the California State Legislature said issues with the Employment Development Department continue, with the agency grappling with hundreds of thousands of claims.
More than 900,000 claimants waited more than 21 days to receive their first payment or disqualification notice during the week of March 18, according to the most recent EDD data, a figure that has remained fairly steady since late January. The vast majority of those claims were stalled because a claimant needed to submit evidence of their eligibility.
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Assemblywoman Friedman Finds Her Dream Job in Politics

Photo courtesy Laura Friedman’s office
Laura Friedman, alongside Burbank Congressman Adam Schiff, joined other leaders for a round table discussion in February 2020 on affordable housing at the Hollywood Community Housing’s Cornel Apartments.

In Laura Friedman’s eyes, the road to politics is paved with land use policy, especially here in Southern California where it is part and parcel of every major issue that troubles the region.
It’s how she got into politics to begin with, and it represents the starting point of much of her legislation, which tends to be focused on three key issues: environmental sustainability, protection of vulnerable populations and her own district. Friedman, who is kicking off her third term representing the 43rd Assembly District, said that the three issues for her merge to end in a singular goal very much in the same manner that they begin.
“Land use is the bread and butter of local government,” she explained in a recent interview. “Even going back to my days on the Design Review Board, it was very much about development, growth and balancing what people want in their communities — private property rights and all of those issues — and I find all of that very fascinating. Having had that background and that experience, I bring that interest into the Assembly.”

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Art Contest Offered to Commemorate Armenian Genocide

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman recently announced that the California Armenian Legislative Caucus is holding two scholarship contests for the 2021 commemoration of the Armenian genocide.
California high school students in 9th through 12th grade are invited to participate in an essay contest and/or a visual arts contest to increase greater awareness of the Armenian genocide on its anniversary.
“Every year, the California Legislative Armenian Caucus holds our annual scholarship competition in order to provide an opportunity for students to learn about a dark but important part of history, while potentially winning money for college,” Friedman, a Democrat from Glendale, said in a statement. “The submissions we receive never cease to amaze and inspire me. As our community and nation continues to battle hatred and bigotry here at home, and as the people of Armenia continue to face oppression and violence in their homeland, this year’s contest couldn’t be more timely or valuable.”

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Plenty of Clarity in Voting on Legislators, Ballot Measures

Though the outcome of the presidential election remained unclear as ballots in battleground states continued to be counted on Friday morning, results of most legislative races and ballot measure campaigns in California left little doubt about who or what were the winners.
As of Thursday evening, incumbent state Sen. Anthony Portantino had a firm lead over Kathleen Hazelton — 236,728 votes to 122,979 — and will continue representing District 25, which includes Burbank.
Laura Friedman defeated Mike Graves to continue serving the people of the 43rd Assembly District, receiving nearly 71% of the votes cast.
Adam Schiff will also be reelected as the U.S. representative for the 28th District with 73.58% of the votes in a race against Eric Early.

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Voters Keep Most Incumbents, Support Props. 17, 22

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
A man casts his ballot for Tuesday’s election at the voting center at Pacific Community Center and Park.

Voters returned a number of local incumbents to their state and federal seats Tuesday at a comfortable margin, while Los Angeles County will see changeover at the district attorney’s office.
Statewide, voters also defeated Proposition 15 — a measure supported by both the City Council and the Glendale Unified School District that would have increased property tax funding at a local level — while approving Proposition 17, which restores voting rights for convicted felons after their prison terms end. As of press deadline on Friday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden looked poised to unseat President Donald Trump after taking or maintaining vote leads in key electoral states Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

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Meet the State, Federal Candidates

La Cañada Flintridge voters will elect representatives to a variety of positions on Nov. 3, with candidates vying for local, state and federal seats. Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is aiming to represent California’s 28th District in the U.S. House of Representatives for another two years, with Republican and attorney Eric Early challenging his incumbency.
For the California Assembly, Democrat Laura Friedman is set on continuing to represent the 43rd Assembly District for another two years. The assemblywoman is facing Republican Mike Graves in the race. The candidates, with the exception of Graves, who did not respond to emails from the Outlook Valley Sun, have provided statements explaining why they believe they should receive residents’ votes.

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League of Women Voters Announces Candidate Forums

The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank will host a pair of candidate forums next month regarding legislative races of significance to local voters.
The forums in advance of the Nov. 3 election will be presented live on Spectrum Cable Channel 6 or AT&T Channel 99.
On Monday, Oct. 5, a California State Assembly District 43 forum will take place from 2-3 p.m. Candidates are Democratic incumbent Laura Friedman and Republican Mike Graves.
From 3:30-4:30 p.m. is the Congressional District 28 forum. Candidates are Adam Schiff, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican Eric Early.
Questions to the candidates can be submitted to lwvglendaleburbankca@gmail.com. Due to time constraints and the number of candidates, not all questions will be asked.
Questions should be on the issues and applicable to all candidates. No personal attacks or biased questions will be accepted.

Glendale Arts Celebrates Successful Telethon for Alex Theatre’s 95th Birthday

Photo by Keira Wight / Glendale News-Press
Participants (in alphabetical order) include: Jazzy Birdsong, Alexis Colett, Ashley Crowe, Nina Crowe, Elissa Glickman, Zach Hazelwood, Melynda Homes, Androuhi Keshishyan, Nick Massey, Chad Mata, Bob O’Neill, Bri Pattillo, Rafa Posada, Maria Sahakian and Hilary Sbei.

The heat was on at the Alex Theatre on Saturday, when the venue’s nonprofit management company Glendale Arts surpassed its $95,000 fundraising goal in honor of its 95th birthday milestone, which was celebrated with a 12-hour program presented in a telethon format and livestreamed and telecast on multiple platforms.
At the close of the Alex95 event, $98,339 had been raised for the preservation of the city-owned Alex Theatre and the programs and services offered by Glendale Arts, with donations continuing to come in from supporters. The performing arts and entertainment center has reduced its staff since the mandated lockdown took effect in March, but it remains committed to its mission of bringing the community together through the arts and entertainment while continuing to maintain the historic building.
Alex95 hosts journalist Palmira Perez-Najarian, former NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, and comedians Alonzo Bodden, Mary Basmadjian, Matt Kirshen and Michael Rayner entertained viewers throughout the program, sharing the wonder and promise of the Theatre with their own special connections and memories.
Program highlights included a guided tour of the Alex, video greetings from performers and artists, and familiar faces from the community, including honorary committee members and area elected officials, including Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Glendale Mayor Vrej Agajanian and City Council members Ara Najarian, Paula Devine, Ardy Kassakhian and Daniel Brotman.
“We’re thrilled with the outpouring of support for Alex95, which reaffirms the community’s love for its iconic cultural and architectural landmark,” said Glendale Arts Managing Director Nina Crowe.