In his speech, Gatto reiterated to the audience, his commitment to advancing the issues of concern to the Armenian-American community in Sacramento, drawing a large applause during his address. “Armenians are a group of people who appreciate education, hard work, family and community, the same principles that have made this country great. You have made many contributions to the United States and California, and I am proud to represent the largest Armenian-American constituency in the United States. As long as I am your representative, I will continue to fight for you and your cause. I will be your voice, and I will be your fire in Sacramento,” said Gatto.
The commission will work to establish an accurate historical record of atrocities like the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust. It also has the authority to seek private funding for an International Genocide Monument in Sacramento’s Capitol Park.
Gatto added, “I am proud to have my friend Maria Mehranian as a colleague on this commission. She has distinguished herself through her work in the community, and as a leader with the Armenia Fund. She currently serves on the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, appointed by past California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In my discussions with Speaker Perez and others, Maria quickly emerged as a most qualified candidate for the position,” said Assemblyman Gatto.
“I would like to congratulate Assembly Speaker John Perez, and Assemblymember Mike Gatto for their Vision to create a vehicle to fight Genocides Internationally,” said Mehranian. “This commission will not only memorialize the past, and set an accurate historical record, but will be a platform to fight against human atrocities in the future.”
Gatto is also the author of AB 173, which extends the ability for the families of victims of the Armenian Genocide to file claims on insurance policies held at that time. Gatto presented the bill during the Assembly Day of Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. The bill passed the Assembly on a resounding 61-0 vote and will now move to the State Senate.
Mike Gatto is the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State Assembly. He represents the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles, including Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, and Van Nuys. He has served in the Assembly since June 2010.