Landmark Turkish Divestment Bill Gains Momentum
Two Critical Senate Committees Cleared
(Sacramento, CA) AB 1597, the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, continues to gain unprecedented momentum, on Monday passing the Senate Public Employment & Retirement Committee by a vote of 4 – 0 with one abstention, and yesterday passing the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 5 – 0 with two abstentions.
California has a long history of divesting from countries that violate human rights, South Africa (apartheid policy), Sudan (Darfur genocide), and Iran (international terrorism, human rights violations.) A divestment from Turkish bonds over Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, the continued funding of a campaign of genocide denial, and the recent erosion of democratic principles would send a clear message that California, the 5th largest economy in the world, demands justice and recognition for 1.5 million Armenians killed.
“California is sending a clear message to Turkey to stop their deceitful campaign of genocide denial,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
AB 1597 requires the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) to liquidate all investments issued, owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey within six months of the passage of federal sanctions on Turkey for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
This bill also requires the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to submit reports to the Legislature and the Governor, within a year of when the federal government issues sanctions against Turkey. The report will detail a list of investments that they have already liquidated and a list of investments that potentially can be liquidated.
California is home to the largest Armenian-American population in the United States.
AB 1597 will now be debated and voted on by Senate Appropriations.
Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District, serving the San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.
CONTACT: Brian Stedge, (818) 376-4246, Brian.Stedge@asm.ca.gov