Assembly takes a stand
on Azerbaijan’s border
In another foray into international politics, the California Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution calling for independence of an Armenian-dominated enclave in Azerbaijan.
Calling the Azerbaijani borders that encompass the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region an example of a country “improperly drawn by Stalin,” Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, urged the Assembly to take a stand despite its lack of authority to set or enforce foreign policy. He noted past resolutions condemning apartheid in South Africa or the treatment of gays and lesbians in Russia.
“California can on issues of relevance to our constituents and, on issues of moral clarity, continue to be a thought leader that seeks to motivate change,” Gatto said.
Many lawmakers invoked lofty ideals of freedom and self-determination. Others delved into their personal relationship to the issue.
“This is one of those issues, probably one of the hallmark issues, that’s led me to want to serve in public service and to be here,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Burbank.
Assembly Joint Resolution 32 passed 70-1, drawing loud applause from Armenian visitors in the gallery.
“MY President is coming to CA & is highlighting Wal-Mart? I guess that shows his commitment to workers. Disappointed is an understatement.”