Wilk commemorates 109th anniversary of Armenian Genocide, introduces resolution on Senate Floor

Sen. Scott Wilk presents SR 83 on the Senate Floor. Click the photo to watch the full remarks

Today Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) joined with the Armenian-American community and the people of Armenia, in recognizing the somber 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. And on Monday, Senator Wilk presented Senate Resolution 83 (SR 83) to honor the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who were senselessly massacred by the Ottoman Turks from 1915-1923.

He was joined on the Floor by his wife Vanessa Safoyan Wilk, who is Armenian-American, as well as Vanessa’s mother, his niece and nephew, and distinguished members of the Armenian-American community.

“As a founding member of the California Armenian Legislative Caucus, it pains me to be introducing SR 83 commemorating the 109th anniversary of the Armenian genocide of 1915. Those who lived through that period are now dead and the Armenian people have yet to receive acknowledgment from those responsible. Even worse, it is still going on today,” said Senator Wilk.

The Armenian Genocide is regarded as the first genocide of modern times. 

Senator Wilk’s floor speech also included the harrowing story of his wife’s great-aunt, who survived the genocide by faking her own death. She managed to escape and was reunited with her brothers in Massachusetts, paving the way for the strong Armenian-American community Vanessa’s parents would bring together in Boston.

Throughout his tenure in the legislature, Senator Wilk has proudly stood alongside the Armenian-American community - condemning the Turkish government's refusal to acknowledge their atrocities, raising awareness of ongoing threats to Armenia, and championing education to prevent future genocides.

Wilk co-founded the California Armenian Legislative Caucus in 2015, which strives to ensure that California Armenian-Americans’ voices are heard and given a platform. The caucus also holds an annual scholarship contest, in which students submit an essay or art piece, to raise awareness about the genocide and current threats facing the country.

In 2022 Senator Wilk’s legislation requiring California’s public employee retirement systems to divest from investments in the government of Turkey, should federal sanctions on the Turkish government be signed into law, was signed by Governor Newsom. 

In his closing floor remarks, he referenced a 2022 speech from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“Hatred and violence must never again be met with indifference. Each and every one of us has a role to play in making sure such brutality is never repeated, and it starts with taking a stand against discrimination and hate in all its forms – whenever and wherever it occurs.

“Together, on this somber anniversary, we remember the lives lost, recognize the strength and spirit of the Armenian people, and look forward with hope to a future of peace, mutual respect, and dignity among people and countries around the world.”

Click HERE to watch Senator Wilk’s full speech.