GLENDALE—On Tuesday, March 13, the Glendale City Council unanimously voted to initiate the process of renaming a public right of way in honor of the Republic of Artsakh. Among the several alternatives provided by the city staff, was the option to rename the stretch of Maryland Avenue between Harvard and Wilson Street. The Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale (ANCA Glendale) expressed strong support for the option to rename Maryland Avenue to Artsakh Street.
Referring to the option of renaming Maryland Avenue, ANCA Glendale, Community Outreach Director Margarita Baghdasaryan stated that, “the area, which is situated in the Glendale Arts and Entertainment district sees significant foot traffic, attracts thousands of shoppers every day, and is home to several local Armenian American business who would welcome the name change.”
Glendale City Mayor Vartan Gharpetian stated proudly that “tonight we are making history, 50 years later they are going to talk about this night. I am so proud to go towards this route and to name the first street in our City Artsakh.”
Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan remarked on the City’s plans to liven and potentially turn the area between Wilson and Harvard street to a pedestrian promenade, which would attract thousands of visitors, making it an ideal geographic location to be named Artsakh.
Mr. Sinanyan, also stated that he “would like to thank the ANCA for being here in such large numbers and being in support of this; and for being instrumental in channeling the venue for the potential renaming towards Maryland paseo.”
Several community members spoke in support of the ANCA Glendale position, emphasizing the historical and cultural significance of Artsakh to the Armenian American community; and the educational opportunity such a street name would provide for pedestrians interested in the history of Artsakh. This idea was echoed by Councilmember Ara Najarian, who suggested displaying a plaque with information about the Republic of Artsakh.
“Although we are pleased that the City Council indicated its preference for the option of renaming Maryland Avenue to Artsakh Street, we recognize that this is only the beginning of an extensive process that will require the support of many stakeholders and residents,” observed the ANCA Glendale spokesperson.
The 8-step process for naming streets adopted by the Glendale City Council in August 2017 is expected to take several months before a final resolution is considered by the City Council. The process requires comments from several City Departments, outside agencies including the US Postal service, and property owners of the street to be renamed. The Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the proposed name change and make its recommendation to the City Council.
The ANCA Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. Learn more at ancaglendale.org.